Homeless Ministry offers help and hope

July 20th, 2007 • Category: Helping Those in Need

by Theresa Benson, member of the Homeless Ministry

I was talking to a few friends from Silicon Valley last week, and they were telling me how the heat out there has really shocked the system — the highs are blowing away the average temperatures by 20 degrees or more, and a lot of homes don’t have central air conditioning. Governor Schwarzenegger has opened “cooling centers” in public buildings to try to help people cope, but for a lot of people, it still means a lot of hot, uncomfortable nights at home. One woman I saw interviewed on the news said the temperature inside her home had reached 90 degrees!

And then it started heating up here, and I started thinking about our homeless neighbors in Indianapolis, and what they must have to do to survive a hot summer day. Where can they go? Most stores won’t tolerate loitering – I mean, who wants to shop at a mall where you have to walk over people much less fortunate than us, who are inside just to stay cool? And when my neighbors and I are hoping for a good rain to green up the grass, I think about what a thunderstorm must be like for someone who might only have a cardboard box to keep him dry.

The Bible speaks plainly about homelessness: “If any of your Israelite relatives fall into poverty and cannot support themselves, support them as you would a resident foreigner and allow them to live with you. Do not demand an advance or charge interest on the money you lend them. Instead, show your fear of God by letting them live with you as your relatives.” (Leviticus 25:35-36)

Horizon House, an organization JMCC’s Homeless Ministry supports with our time and talent, is actively helping our homeless neighbors. They have a building to protect them from the elements, and they also provide meals, water, and juice in “Outreach” packets to people who can’t get to the shelter.

Donations tend to drop off during the summer months, and Horizon House is in desperate need of the following:

  • Juice Boxes
  • Small Bottled Waters
  • Peanut Butter, large size jars for the kitchen
  • New men’s underwear and white socks
  • Cereal/Granola Bars

Please, when you go to the grocery store or Sam’s Club/Costco or to the mall this week, pick up some of these items for our homeless neighbors, and bring them to church with you next Sunday. And then next Sunday, bring some more. You can drop off donations in the storage room next to the coatroom.

If you want more information on how to volunteer with Jesus MCC’s homeless ministry, please contact the church office.

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