Where Change Begins

Campaign November 2021 – December 2021
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Have you ever wondered what it’s like to live on the streets? Have you ever seen a man or a woman on a street corner with a cardboard sign asking for help and thought to yourself “I wonder where they can go to use the restroom?” or “I wonder where she goes to sleep every night?” or better yet, “I wonder who he is?”

Often times whenever I pull up to a red light and see these individuals I spend time contemplating how I might be able to help without causing needless harm. I sometimes avoid eye contact to lessen the guilt I feel over their situation all the while my mind races through all of the emotions of wanting to do something, wanting to show them love and compassion. But also, there’s frustration knowing, though they might be difficult to access, the resources are available for them to get out of the mess they are in. “They must not really want to have a better life,” I say to myself. “Maybe they are lazy, or worse, addicted to drugs or alcohol which is probably what they are spending all of their money on. If that is the case, then me giving this person anything will only contribute to the dependency and make the situation worse.” Greenlight and I am off feeling completely justified in not offering any assistance. A few blocks away, I realize I wasted the opportunity I had to simply love someone. After all, isn’t that God’s commandment to us, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” – Matthew 22:37-40. What God does not say is first, judge whether an individual is doing what they need to do in order to earn your love…I mean how thankful am I knowing that despite not ever being able to earn love and salvation from Christ, he loves me anyway and has given freely all the grace needed to save my miserable soul. How can I sit in judgment of anyone else knowing this? Especially, one who is an outcast in their own community. Forgotten, lost, invisible, even hated. Can you imagine the shame, the guilt, the anger and sadness this person might feel? And am I really so different just because I have a roof over my head at night? 

The theme of the year at Haven of Hope has been “Impressions.” For so many people homelessness is seen as just another government trash issue. We think of crime, property value, and garbage. A person’s true identity is lost on the streets, constantly ignored, oppressed, never welcome, never human. I ask you, what do you see when you look at the man on the corner? Here at Haven of Hope, it’s very simple, what we do is not about who deserves help and who doesn’t. It’s about humanity. It’s about grace.

But here’s the kicker, we cannot do this alone. We need your help, now more than ever! The past 20 months have been challenging to say the least. The ship stays afloat thanks to the generosity of our donors but cold weather, sickness, anxiety and depression, addictions, and violence continue to plague and oppress this community. They need us. They need you. If you feel it in your capacity to give we ask that you join us this holiday season. We need warm weather clothing, tents, sleeping bags, tarps, and yes, we need your financial support. Last year we were able to raise just over $283,000 in the month of December alone. With additional service days and fewer shelter closures we need a little more help this year, ok we need way more help. We need to raise $400,000 by the end of 2021. 

Haven of Hope has continued to serve all those in need without prejudice since its inception and will continue to do so for as long as God wills. Thanks to your support and generosity what we do is not only possible but is consistent. Together we are a hot meal on a cold day, a smile, a shoulder to cry on and an ear to listen for all those who would otherwise be alone. 

May God bless you this holiday season!