Tag Archives: helping homeless

Helping the Homeless

by Dr. Chad Audi

If you were to win money in the lottery, would you give it away to a homeless person? Tough question, right? Well, a woman in Massachusetts did just that. The single mother of three gave her $200 in lottery winnings to a man on the street whose plight touched her heart.

The homeless man was desperately trying to keep warm in the 8-below zero temperatures, and the woman used her lottery money to put him up at a motel for three nights. “I knew why God had blessed me with the winnings,” she said.

And the woman didn’t stop there. She created a GoFundMe page for the man, and raised more than $5,000 to help the man get back on his feet.

While this is a remarkable story of selfless giving, we know that the homeless need more than money. They need direction, restorative services, job training, affordable housing, and help integrating back into society. These are the types of services that non-profit agencies like ours, Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM), provide for thousands of homeless and low-income individuals and families.

We hope that the money raised for the Massachusetts man will be responsibly managed and that he will be directed to an appropriate agency that will guide him through the steps of putting his life back together.

Sure, giving makes us feel good. We are equipped with the human instinct to try to help the homeless and disadvantaged. But at the same time, we need to make sure that the help we provide is long term and effective.

Dr. Chad Audi

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Homeless Count

by Dr. Chad Audi

It’s that time of year again. Time to get a count of the nation’s homeless. The 2016 Point-in- Time Count just took place across the country. Tens of thousands of volunteers went out one night in January looking for the men, women and children who call the streets their home.

In addition to keeping a count, the volunteers attempt to get the homeless to seek shelter and assistance. But, if they refuse and insist on their freedom, the volunteers provide them with life-saving items such as blankets, sleeping bags, hats, gloves, socks, food, and hygiene kits.

The homeless who do accept the offer are taken to shelters like ours, the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM). They can warm up, get a hot meal and shower, clean clothes and a bed to sleep in overnight. However, some of the homeless return to the streets the next morning with no interest in finding transitional and permanent housing or treating their mental health and substance abuse issues. For some, a fear of authority and obeying rules sends them back to their outdoor home.

In addition to searching the streets, the Point-in-Time Count volunteers look for the homeless in shelters and vehicles parked in 24-hour store parking lots. Any place where the homeless may go to hide from the cold and authorities.

The purpose of this one day count is to get a better picture of the extent of homelessness in this country. The data is collected and used for the allocation of federal grants to help provide housing and case management services for the homeless.

Everyone deserves a safe and stable place to call home, and that’s why we at DRMM work so diligently to provide the homeless with the tools they need to permanently escape life on the streets and become productive citizens sharing in the American Dream.

Dr. Chad Audi

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New Beginnings

by Dr. Chad Audi

Many people look forward to this time of year. A new year is approaching, and it offers the opportune time for new beginnings.

For the homeless in this country, we pray that 2016 will bring them hope and help. Ours is a God of second chances. So, anything is possible. He is patient, merciful, gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. The disadvantaged are His children, too. They deserve love and opportunities.

Here at the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM), we believe in second chances, and third chances, and so on. We are in the business of rebuilding lives, one at a time. DRMM provides the tools that the homeless need to get back on their feet: a hot shower, food, clothing, counseling, career training, medical and dental assistance, substance abuse treatment, and spiritual nourishment.

We don’t know what 2016 will bring, but our New Year’s wish is that more people will escape the hardships of poverty, unemployment and addiction that often lead to homelessness.

Perhaps one of your New Year’s resolutions can be to help the homeless and others in need. Consider supporting the important work of non-profit organizations like DRMM through donations and volunteering. Your commitment will help change lives.

Sure, you can still make your resolution to give up a personal, bad habit. But at the same time, resolve to give to others for the New Year.

May God shower you with blessings today and into 2016.

Dr. Chad Audi

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What Are You Thankful For?

by Dr. Chad Audi

There are so many terrible things happening in our world today. The Paris terrorist attacks. The bombing of a Russian jetliner. Shootings and racist incidents on college campuses.  All of these tragedies and turmoil can make it difficult to find joy in this holiday season. But just as God makes beauty out of ashes, so should we find enjoyment in the spirit of the holiday.

Ask yourself what you are thankful for this Thanksgiving. Perhaps you’re grateful for having a good job or a roof over your head or food on the table. These are all things that we should delight in this holiday, even as incidents happening all around us suggest a civilization immersed in hatred, violence, and mistreatment.

You may have heard about the homeless man in Detroit who was lured to a fast food restaurant drive-through window by an employee who promised him a sandwich, only to throw a cup of water at him when he approached. The video of the incident went viral, causing outrage around the world.

Heartless and cruel acts such as this have no place in our society. The homeless and impoverished are entitled to dignity and respect, just like anyone else. Here at the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM), we work to restore the self-esteem and confidence of our clients. Many have lived on the mean streets for several years, fighting off attackers while fighting to stay alive. Most of us can’t imagine going through what they have endured, much less surviving it. When they make it to our facilities seeking help, we show them that they deserve better.

When you sit down at your Thanksgiving meal, say a prayer that the world will become a little kinder and that one day we’ll treat each other as Jesus would have us to do.

by Dr. Chad Audi

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Poverty Remains Unchanged

by Dr. Chad Audi

The new U.S. Census Bureau report on poverty in America was neither encouraging nor discouraging. Statistics show the country’s median income and poverty rate in 2014 remained the same as the previous year.

If you’re a “glass half full” kind of person, the numbers are good news. But if you look at things through a “glass half empty” perspective, the report isn’t particularly positive.

Here in Detroit, where I operate Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM), the news was especially disheartening. We were rated as the most impoverished major city in America with 39.3-percent living below the poverty line of $24,008 for a family of four.

DRMM and other organizations that assist the homeless and disadvantaged can pretty much predict the annual numbers by the amount of people we service. The Census numbers indicate the nation’s middle class and poor didn’t see any extra money last year. In other words, the economic recovery has not touched the needy.

Here at DRMM, we still see working families come in for a free dinner. Their paychecks don’t always stretch to cover a daily, balanced meal. We still provide basic needs and career training services for laid off workers who can’t make ends meet. And, we still find our shelters filled past capacity on many nights.

Addressing the needs of this country’s poor and hungry is one of the top issues that should dominate the agenda for next year’s presidential candidates. A group of 100 faith-based organizations calling themselves “Circle of Protection” has asked each candidate to create a short video outlining their plans for helping the disadvantaged. You can view the videos here.

I hope that you will show compassion toward the poor, just as God commanded that we give generously to the needy and speak on their behalf.

Dr. Chad Audi

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Reaping the Harvest of a New Season

by Dr. Chad Audi

Ready or not, we are about to experience a change in the seasons. Children are going back to school. Families are taking their last summer vacation. And soon, the leaves on the trees will change to a brilliant red and orange. All of these are sure signs of fall.

Autumn is associated with the harvest — a time when things planted are gathered. The Bible says God stands in control of the harvest time; it is part of His work. Luke 10:2 reads, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

Here at the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM), we are laborers standing ready to gather the harvest and share it with the homeless, poverty-stricken and disadvantaged that come to our doors for help. The harvest that we provide for these individuals and families includes food, knowledge, education, job training, and the love of God.

Additionally, DRMM offers a harvest of hope to our clients. They can get a second chance. They can turn around their lives. And, they can be reunited with their loved ones. Hope abounds throughout Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries.

You, too, can reap a harvest by giving to the less fortunate. Visit your local rescue mission or homeless shelter and donate money, goods and products, or your time and expertise. Proverbs 19:17 says, “Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and He will repay him for his deed.”

Make this the season to harvest your rich rewards.

 

Dr. Chad Audi

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Treat the Homeless with Dignity & Respect

by Dr. Chad Audi

By now, you’ve probably read about or seen the disturbing video showing a Florida police officer tossing peanuts at a homeless man who is handcuffed and intoxicated, while awaiting booking at the Sarasota County Jail. The officer also reportedly gave a series of “dog commands” to the man. Several sheriff’s deputies and the officer laugh at the man as his mouth misses the nuts and he struggles to eat them off the floor.

The video is disgusting and shows how the homeless are often looked upon as second- class citizens. In this case, the men sworn to protect the public have resorted to cruelty and disrespect in their treatment of this man.

Here at the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM), we are all about preserving the dignity of the homeless people we serve, as we minister to their body and spirit. Although the demand for our services is very high, DRMM has to find a way to meet our clients’ needs and maintain their self-respect. No one goes to sleep hungry or is forced to stay out in the winter cold or the summer heat.

The homeless are human beings, just like you and me. The majority don’t want to be homeless. Negative life circumstances are to blame, such as a job layoff, serious medical condition, addiction, or the inability to keep current with the rent. The homeless are good people who had bad things happen in their lives or made bad choices.

In addition to feeding and housing the homeless, DRMM puts them on the right path again. We understand. We let them know they are appreciated and that we will always preserve their dignity and respect at all times.

Meanwhile, the Florida law enforcement officer who threw the peanuts at the homeless man like he was an animal in a zoo has been placed on leave, while the incident is being investigated.

It’s a sad day in this society when such a heartless act takes place, under any circumstances.

Dr. Chad Audi

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