Friday, March 13, 2009

Serious problem

So I have one more thought that I've been waiting to blog about: Homelessness. In a recent news report on the economy which is in shambles (if you haven't noticed, you will), Sacramento, California's latest homeless count was 1,226 homeless people.

Here's a statistic that will wake you butt up: Bellingham, Washington's homeless count as of March 2008 (this year's count hasn't been released yet) was 1,326 people. Because I have insider knowledge, I know the count is closer to 2,000 for this year. Bellingham's population? 67,171. Population of Sacramento? 1,223,499. Percentage of people homeless in Bellingham (based off of last year's statistics)? Almost 2 percent. Sacramento? point 1 percent.

When I mention homeless people, this includes: men, women, children. There are just over 200 results when I search for churches in Bellingham and over 900 when I search Sacramento. People, where's God's hands and feet in this? What if each church adopted a homeless family? We'd get rid of homelessness or significantly decrease it.

Now I understand some homeless people prefer to be that way and there's more than likely nothing you can do to reach them. However, there is an even larger percentage that you don't see that need the help.

If you found yourself homeless, would you want your own stereo-type to be shunned upon you? It can happen. Think about that the next time you drive past someone on the side of the street. Maybe pack a costco-sized box of granola bars in your back seat at all times and hand them out when you see the next guy on the side of the street. Who says money is all they need? I can guarantee God will bless you if you bless someone else.

Please check out the Lighthouse Mission's website and make sure to read the article on Panhandling. Maybe it will open your eyes.


Rachel said...

Aren't these statistics crazy to think about? It breaks my heart to read about youth in poverty. Nearly 65 kids without homes! I wonder if it even includes those with housing instability (ie living in hotels, with friends, and family), or just those in shelters who can be counted. The stats at show how much it costs to live in Whatcom county and how minimum wage just isn't enough.

I do think the church could be more involved in fixing this problem. Isn't it kind of our purpose and what we have been called to do? I think so.

Anyhow, I could go on all day....I enjoyed your thoughts Mary! :)

Woman of Many Thoughts said...

Hey Handysnacks! I know the Bellingham stats include all of those without a home, ie. couch surfers, hotel dwellers, etc. I don't know about Sacramento though. It's sad. And yes, it is the church's responsibility. But that's just my humble opinion :) Thanks for checking out my blog!