It is my job as the Executive Director of this homeless ministry to state emphatically, “Homelessness is not a disease.” In fact it is not contagious. Homelessness can be based in economics; not earning enough to cover the basics of life or poor money management. The homeless may not earn enough because of education and/or area employment opportunities limit income.
Mental illness can also cause homelessness. Addiction to drugs and alcohol causes homelessness. As you can see many issues create the intolerable state of homelessness.
I have never met a homeless person who set out to be homeless. I have met many a homeless person who made poor choices that led them to being homeless.
If homeless people cannot bathe, receive calls from potential employers, and be located in a timely fashion homeless people cannot find employment. An endless cycle develops and any hope for improvement vanishes.
All homeless people are not lazy. All homeless people are not criminals. All homeless people are human and deserve the respect we would give any other human being.
All homeless people, beyond needing food and shelter, have a deep inner need. If you discover that person’s need … you can change that person’s life forever. A moment of caring will cure a hurting person. Every human needs compassion.
The stereotypes placed on homeless people are often cruel and those stereotypes many times destroy any hope of recovery. Even doctors have become homeless, lawyers too. People have fallen a long way from societal position because of addiction. Addiction is a choice or at least begins with a choice.
Union Mission provides a place to bathe, eat, receive phone calls, and a place to heal. Compassion is demonstrated to homeless and hungry people every day and in every way.
Homeless people need interaction, love, conversation, and intervention of a heavenly kind. Union Mission stands to be that place of refuge, where all of this is offered. It is offered because homeless people have to be given the respect that allows them to make their own choice.
My wife and I have raised five children and we have learned you cannot fit any child into the mold of the first. Likewise homeless people are individuals with choices, right or wrong, that they must make.
Union Mission invites your compassion for the homeless so we can remedy the intolerable state of the homeless.
George E. Batten