I’ve had some new experiences lately. Most noteworthy includes the ratty costume I’m currently wearing with makeup smeared across my face in an attempt to look “homeless.” I know, right?
Tonight, we’re putting on an interactive presentation to teach our church’s youth group about the homeless in our community. (This is being written pre-event, so I’m assuming this will be effective.) Taking on this ‘identity’ has generated some research, including a 2 hour meeting at our local Rescue mission, prayer, internet searches, and some books to read through. Why? Because prior to this opportunity, I didn’t really know much about the homeless, their needs, or really even how to respond.
As a proper American woman, I was raised to be cautious of anyone who appeared homeless. Because it wasn’t safe. Because I could be raped, or taken advantage of, and I certainly didn’t want to enable anyone… right? But is there a right way to respond that can really help?
I’m in the process of trying to learning that. I’m talking with people who are reaching out to them… I’m gathering others who want to get involved. And I’m praying to have eyes like Jesus when I look around me.
What does your community or church do for the homeless in your community? I’d love to hear some of your creative ideas or experiences.