Tag Archives: holidays

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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A New Start in the New Year

by Dr. Chad Audi

This is a joyous time of the year. We are celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ and preparing to renew our spirit and hope for the New Year.

Unfortunately, not everyone is anticipating the arrival of 2015. For the nation’s homeless, January simply means it’s time to go deep into survival mode until the arrival of warmer temperatures and budding flowers.

Make no mistake, the homeless are very thankful for the special holiday meals and donated gifts they receive this time of the year. However, as the New Year arrives, they must face the prospect of another year of despair.

That’s why charitable organizations like the one I lead — Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM) — depend so much upon the generous, year-end donations from our supporters, which enable us to offer our life-changing programs and services into the New Year without interruption.

The men, women and children in DRMM’s emergency shelters, treatment centers, transitional and permanent housing, and career training programs are in need of love, mercy, and hope. Our mission is to help the homeless find the strength and learn the skills to turnaround their lives and never end up on the streets again.

Every man, woman and child on this Earth is deserving of God’s grace, not only at Christmas, but throughout the year.

Make this a joyous time for the homeless. Let’s give them the opportunity for a new start in the New Year.

Dr. Chad Audi

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The Holiday Spirit

 

by Dr. Chad Audi

In the spirit of the holidays, a Florida judge has presented a gift to 90-year-old Arnold Abbott. The elderly World War II veteran had been arrested and given several citations for violating an ordinance that prohibits feeding the homeless in public in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. But, now the judge has temporarily halted the ordinance.

For several years, Mr. Abbott’s non-profit organization has fed the city’s homeless. Supporters from around the world empathized with Abbott and his efforts to make sure all of the city’s hungry were fed.

Although the nation’s homeless population is the most vulnerable to hunger, an estimated 50 million Americans go to bed and awake hungry, according to the National Coalition for the Homeless. That’s an incredible number. And sadly, about one in five of them are children.

Here at Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM), we serve thousands of people who are experiencing food insecurity. We feed more than 3,500 people each day. In addition to the homeless individuals in our shelters, we serve dinner to members of the community who can’t afford to eat regularly or provide nutritious meals for their families.

DRMM also reaches out to communities surrounding Detroit to help those in need. This holiday season, we donated food boxes to 50 families in the neighboring city of Dearborn, Michigan. The U.S. Census Bureau reports nearly 26-percent of that city’s population lives below the poverty level. Each food box included items such as turkey, beef, rice, cooking oil, seasonings and sugar — enough to last a family of six for two weeks. In total, the families have more than 150 children.

Won’t you open your hearts this holiday season and help us feed the hungry?

“For I was hungry and you gave me food. I was thirsty and you gave me drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” (Matthew 25: 35)
Dr. Chad Audi

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A Season of Thanks and Giving

by Dr. Chad Audi

What are you the most thankful for during this season of giving? Is it a roof over your head? Or family and friends who love you? Or perhaps you’re thankful for being healthy and able to make a good living.

During this holiday season, we all should be appreciative of our blessings. So many people are barely making it, and many are on the streets with nowhere to live.

Over the past few years, there has been an increased demand for our services at Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM). This can be attributed to a variety of reasons, including the shaky economy, job layoffs, low wages, medical setbacks, and people turning to drugs and alcohol as a means of coping.

In addition, an early cold snap here in Michigan, and across the country, led to DRMM’s shelters being filled way beyond capacity for several days. We brought out extra cots for the men, women and children who came to our door to escape the unseasonably frigid temperatures.

Although we’ve had an increased stream of clients, we are thankful to God and to our supporters for helping us provide for those in need. Because of our donors’ generosity, DRMM is able to feed thousands of people on Thanksgiving and Christmas. They receive hearty, holiday meals. Plus, we are able to provide hundreds of less fortunate children with toys and gifts to make their holidays happier. We make sure they can celebrate like everybody else.

DRMM counts on the generosity and prayers of others to support us in many ways. Whether it’s donating money or items, providing in-kind services or volunteering, everybody can make a difference and help those who need it most.

Make giving a part of your life, not just during the holidays, but all of the time.
Blessed are the givers, and grateful are the receivers.
“He that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed; for he giveth of his bread to the poor.”  (Proverbs 22: 9 KJV)

Dr. Chad Audi

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Paying it Forward

by Dr. Chad Audi

Recently, while reading a newspaper column about the importance of paying it forward, I was reminded of the following Bible verse:  “Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and He will repay him for his deed.”  – Proverbs, 19:17

This verse is particularly meaningful at this time of the year. As families celebrate Christmas with gifts and food and welcome in the New Year with parties, it is important that we do not forget those who are less fortunate.

When you give to non-profit agencies that assist the homeless, hungry, unemployed and disadvantaged — like the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM) — you enable us to share the hope and love of God with those who need to know that all is not lost. The number of people turning to us for help has risen to an all-time high. Imagine if the same situation is occurring at rescue missions and shelters in cities across the country! We cannot imagine having to turn away frightened mothers and children or hungry seniors or men lost in their addictions. These are the people in need of real help and real hope this holiday season.

DRMM is thankful for faithful friends and supporters whose hearts are full of compassion for the poor. Their gifts can mean the difference between a homeless man shivering on the streets or being able to eat dinner and sleep in our heated shelter. When you help those in need, you will reap the rewards of knowing that you have made a tremendous difference in someone’s life. This scripture from the Book of Proverbs says that giving to the poor is like lending to God Himself, and He will reimburse those who honor those created in His image.

That is a pretty powerful metaphor, isn’t it?  Are you paying forward your good fortune to help others? When you’re making your New Year’s resolutions on how to increase your finances in 2014, one of the best investment decisions you can make is to help the poor. Because God pays back with interest and blessings.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Dr. Chad Audi

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A Holiday Tragedy

By Dr. Chad Audi

You may have heard about the tragedy that unfolded in New Orleans, Louisiana over this holiday season. Eight young homeless people died in a fire at an abandoned wood-framed warehouse. They had sought shelter from the unusually cold weather and began burning trash and wood to stay warm. The fire raged out of control, trapping the young squatters. It was the deadliest New Orleans fire in nearly four decades.

It’s believed that the victims were in their late teens and early twenties. They were described by others as being accomplished musicians or artists. How tragic! A recent report by the Center for American Progress estimates there are 1.6 to 2.8 million homeless youth in the United States, ages 12 through 24. Many are homeless because of abuse, neglect, and family conflict. Another tragic occurrence!

New Orleans officials say homelessness — especially among young people — has increased since Hurricane Katrina devastated the city in 2005. On any given night, as many as 3,000 people are estimated to be living on the streets. Shelters can provide only about 800 beds. And homeless agencies in New Orleans say many young adults and teenagers tend to avoid shelters for numerous reasons. Many would rather stay out in the cold than seek social services.

In my experience at the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM), I find that sometimes the homeless don’t want to abide by an agency’s rules, or they feel uncomfortable going to a shelter, or pride prevents them from seeking help. Another problem is the lack of affordable housing. The need is larger than ever considering the record number of foreclosures and the economic crisis we have faced. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of vacant, blighted properties can be found across the country and often are used by the homeless as a haven from the weather and dangerous streets.

The tragedy in New Orleans is heartbreaking. We should never lose young people — or anyone — in this manner. Everyone — citizens, the government, non-profits, and businesses — must step up and address the issues that are leading to increased homelessness in this country.

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Cold Weather Survival

By Dr. Chad Audi

In many parts of the country, like here in Detroit, snow has started to fall. The extended weather forecast calls for temperatures hovering around the freezing mark. It is December, so we expect as much. But while many of us can dial up the heat in our homes or start a fire in the fireplace to keep warm, there are hundreds of thousands of people across the U.S. who dread this time of the year. They are homeless men, women and children who are living on the cold streets.

This is the busiest time of the year for the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM) and other agencies like ours. Not only because of the cold weather that drives the homeless to look for shelter and a warm meal, but also because of the holiday season. Everyone deserves to experience the joys of the holidays with good food, gifts and warm gatherings.

A recent newspaper story in Detroit focused on a college student who has designed and created three prototypes of a combination coat and bed roll made of Tyvek HomeWrap insulation and flexible, synthetic fleece. The student’s hope is that the coat will save thousands of homeless people’s lives by protecting them from dangerous, cold temperatures. Interesting? Yes. While certainly no one wants to encourage the homeless to stay on the streets, we do realize there are some people who do not want to come to shelters and abide by the human services organization’s rules.

However, these days, the number of people seeking shelter from the cold is rising. All it takes is the loss of a job or a home to send a person’s life into a tailspin. Or perhaps a tragedy, such as a home that has burned to the ground. And sometimes it’s because of an alcohol or drug addiction that hasn’t been treated.

Whatever the circumstances that lead to homelessness, it can be difficult to find a bed in shelters during this time of the year, because many places are overcrowded. At DRMM, we don’t turn anyone away. But it’s difficult when you don’t have the space and resources to service everyone who needs help. Keep these agencies and the homeless in your prayers and thoughts as we go through the winter season.

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