Tag Archives: impoverished

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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Feeding the Homeless

by Dr. Chad Audi

Feeding the homeless caused quite a controversy recently in Daytona Beach, Florida. A local law prohibits individuals from sharing food with homeless people in public places, but Debbie and Chico Jimenez chose to violate the law when they gave food to about 100 homeless people at a park. It’s something they have been doing for the past year. This time, the couple — who operate a local ministry to help the impoverished — and four friends were charged and fined $2,000. Eventually, the charges and fines were dismissed. And, the Jimenezes have vowed to apply for the proper city permit to continue feeding the homeless in the park.

This has long been a hot button issue all over the country. Should you feed the homeless or give them money when there are agencies like ours — Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM) — that provide them with food, shelter, clean clothing, showers, beds, and job training opportunities? Is it a better idea to direct the homeless to go to DRMM and similar organizations?

In the Florida case, the local ordinance instructs people who want to perform acts of kindness or charity to coordinate their efforts with local social service agencies.

It’s a difficult question, because we know that not all homeless people want to follow the rules that will be imposed upon them in emergency shelters. Not all homeless people have made up their minds that they want to turn around their lives. And, some are still caught up in their addictions and likely will spend any donated money in counterproductive ways.

Additionally, feeding the homeless in public or giving them a few dollars is a temporary fix. The next day they will be looking for the next benevolent giver. DRMM seeks to provide the homeless with permanent solutions that will get them off the streets and into homes, careers, and productive lives.

I’m curious, what do you think about individuals feeding the homeless in public places or giving them money?

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