frozen hands of homeless woman holding mug of coffee in the cold
Do churches have an obligation to help the needy?

Does a house of worship have a moral obligation to help the needy when their lives are on the line?

That is the question many are asking following news that just four churches in Washington’s second-largest city opened their doors to shelter the unhoused. This was out of a pool of over 200 churches that were asked to provide aid to those seeking shelter from subzero temperatures. 

Weathering the Storm

The Pacific Northwest has been experiencing an extremely dangerous cold snap, with much of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and British Columbia buried under mountains of snow. Tack on freezing rain and arctic winds, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. 

Spokane, Washington mayor Lisa Brown – who was sworn in at the beginning of the year – has long criticized the city’s apparent lack of winter planning in years past, arguing the city was woefully unprepared to keep their homeless population warm during the winter. 

Her idea? Open church doors to the homeless. After all, churches are designed for dozens or even hundreds of congregants to gather.

They’re empty at night, when the unhoused need shelter from the elements most. And they exist to worship Jesus, a guy who was pretty famously charitable and kind.

Turns out, getting local churches on board is easier said than done. 

A Frigid Response

227 local churches were contacted. With temperatures dipping into the negatives overnight, just four agreed to open their doors.

Volunteers who contacted the churches reported a number of responses. Most reportedly wanted to, but feared everything from property damage to injury liability to local community revolt. Volunteers reassured them that they’d only have 20-25 individuals in each church, the homeless wouldn’t be allowed to leave after coming in, and there would be staff on site to keep watch.

Julie Garcia, director of a local nonprofit which assists the homeless, says she was disappointed in the response from the local religious community. "In talking with some of these churches, I think people forget who Jesus was," she stated. "We've gotten away from 'What would Jesus do?'"

WWJD?

This isn’t the first time churches have been criticized for their refusal to help the homeless or needy during natural disasters. In 2017, Houston megachurch pastor Joel Osteen faced criticism after initially refusing to open the doors to Lakewood Church – which seats thousands – during Hurricane Harvey.

He later chalked the church’s initial closure up to “safety issues,” but did ultimately open church doors to hurricane victims.

Meanwhile, other churches are answering the call – and sometimes facing consequences.

Currently, Ohio-based pastor Chris Avell is facing 18 criminal charges for keeping his church doors open 24/7 to help the homeless this winter. City prosecutors allege he is violating city zoning laws, and are threatening to prosecute if he doesn’t kick out the homeless – which he is refusing to do. 

“Many of these people have been rejected by their families and cast aside by their communities,” he says. “So, if the church isn’t willing to lay down its life for them, then who will? This is what we’re called to do.”

What do you think? Do churches have an obligation to help the needy during dangerous weather events?

185 comments

  1. Robert E. Polston's Avatar Robert E. Polston

    Hello Brothers and Sisters,

    It is a sad state of affairs, but the answer is simple. Our society grants churches a unique status which grants them a tax free status while retaining police, fire, and other emergency services as well as other community services. I consider this to be a way to help these organizations to provide more support to their faith based effort to have an impact in the communiy to do their charitable work. Perhaps if these churchs can't be a part of the community when called upon to do so, maybe they need to be taxed or billed for services as they are used? I have no problem billing a church for snow removal, fire responses, or police services. In fact, I rather think we should demand payment moving forward, it is not a violation of the separation of church and state to bill for services rendered. Greedy selfish thoughtless church communities can just pay their way if they want to turn their backs on the community in which they live.

    Bob Polston

    1. James Philip Reader's Avatar James Philip Reader

      PREACH! My first thought was to tie tax-exempt status to the churchs' willingness to open their doors. Imagine my joy at seeing this very idea in the first comment I read!

    2. Louise Marie Harmon's Avatar Louise Marie Harmon

      I agree! Churches should practice what they preach, and help their communities in a time of need and crisis, and not look away. If they decline to do this, then they should pay their fair share of taxes to help fund serivces who will assist those in need.

    3. Wayne Charles Paul's Avatar Wayne Charles Paul

      Several churches in different states are now facing draconian fines for having open their doors.

      1. Andrea Wilson's Avatar Andrea Wilson

        Which ones? Where? Why? Any link to a news article about this?

        1. Catherine's Avatar Catherine

          @Andrea Wilson

          Google it. That is a common occurrence.

    4. Catherine's Avatar Catherine

      @Robert E. Polston

      I agree, though there is much more that could be done, more effectively, long term. Churches alone cannot bear 100% of the responsibility for all manner of reasons.

      1. Amy Varela's Avatar Amy Varela

        There are articles and videos about how Finland fixed homelessness, but Finland is great and America is not. Yet. WE have potential, but we have to actually be willing to make sure EVERYONE is taken care of, not just the wealthy.

  1. Edward Hamilton Calhoun's Avatar Edward Hamilton Calhoun

    Im not a Christian - However I often do more for the homeless than our "faith" neighbors - -Oh well Jesus only counts on Sunday - LOL

    1. Troels Qvist's Avatar Troels Qvist

      I agere i have seen it aswell. As a "non beliver " i find myself being terribly christian at times.. Weird 🤔

  1. Brien's Avatar Brien

    I don't care what you call the building, if it serves no real purpose other than to cater to mythical brainwash gatherings so that a group can feel better about themselves than it should avail itself for REAL emergency situations. I hope the brainwashed are real proud of themselves.

    1. ServantOfJudgement's Avatar ServantOfJudgement

      You mean Biden s Whitehouse I assume.

      1. shiningwolf9's Avatar shiningwolf9

        And the winner of stupid f ck is..., SERVANT OF JUDGEMENT!!!!

        1. ServantOfJudgement's Avatar ServantOfJudgement

          Hey moderator. You delete my snarky response void of foul language and leave the foul language post I responded to? Does that mean I'm stupid as f ck?

            1. ServantOfJudgement's Avatar ServantOfJudgement

              Lol, I guess so!

      2. Brien's Avatar Brien

        No, I was referring to people of your village, you included. Be proud that you put things over people. I'm glad that you find sorrow something to laugh at. It only illustrates just how vile some people truly are.

        1. ServantOfJudgement's Avatar ServantOfJudgement

          You antichrists do get to drag us Christians through the mud quite a bit. I wonder, are you guys able to see that you behave the way you say Christians behave but actually don't?

          It's called psychological projection.

          I assume you've got 70-80 homeless in your home right now. Why can you not let them in but other must or be vile? Why don't you let homeless junkies with your kids but Christians must? Why?

          Psychological projection, that's why buddy.

          I give food or money to homeless people when I encounter them, my own food I bought for my own family to eat so they can live. Many many times. Some junkies refuse the food but some don't.
          I think one was going to rob my wife and I once. He was really wild eyed and strung out. I spoke with him and calmed him. I gave him what food we had and he thanked me but he really wanted money. The missus was quite shaken afterwards.

          Your hate for me without knowing me speaks volumes.

          How sad. On the plus side I don't hate you one bit.

          Praize JeazousHa!

          1. Brien's Avatar Brien

            And yet you call them all criminals. I just don't know what to believe out of you. For the record, I am not anti-christianity, I am anti two faced. The posts you have made show this. If so called christian people actually behaved like they say their belief dictates I wouldn't have a thing to say against it. But, per usual, a christian says one thing and does another.

            1. ServantOfJudgement's Avatar ServantOfJudgement

              Brien I don't think I'm two faced but you could be right. I suppose we all might be from other people's perspective. I know talking to the opposition helps me see their perspective if they're willing to come to the table. Maybe tweak mine a bit if what they say makes sense, sometimes it does. That mentality pays off in real life. It might seem strange or unbelievable but in real life I'm sort of human glue(don't laugh). That is I help people focus on the strengths of others rather than their weaknesses, not as a profession but as a practice. I can pull angry or combating people together to get something done. It's easy for me. I see your strengths clear as day, stick out like a sore thumb. At least those you display here anyway, I'm sure you've got more. Unfortunately I also have the opposite ability, I know how to push peoples buttons, To my failing I do that more than I should. Jerk bosses deserve that treatment but not the average joe, ya know?

              Thanks for saying what you said Brien, it's important to me.

              1. Catherine's Avatar Catherine

                @ServantOfJudgement

                Do you do this for everyone except homeless people? Hard to see that with so many of your comments disparaging homeless people you keep saying are all junkies or criminals when you have no evidence of that.

                "I help people focus on the strengths of others rather than their weaknesses, not as a profession but as a practice"

          2. Brien's Avatar Brien

            Dear confused zealot, They say when you assume things you end up making... Yourself look foolish. For the record, I work with homeless in permanent supportive housing. I see the pain that I speak of every week. Please, try to think before putting your foot in your mouth.

            1. ServantOfJudgement's Avatar ServantOfJudgement

              Extend the olive branch and they cut your hand off.

              I'm glad you realize I'm right. I'm glad you know you can't just ask little old Hellen to watch over a church full of homeless people at 2 in the morning. I'm glad you know professional people such as yourself is what's needed or resources from the community that includes professionals and security personnel. I'm glad we agree.

              Why did I have to drag you to it?

              Please read Catherine's post on her story. You'll find that as she gracefully chided me for saying what I said, she repeated what I said about the homeless in the region of this article.

              Be nicer to her than you were to me when I said it. Just some friendly advice, you don't have to follow it.

              Oh, use less spitting venom when you speak. Do that and you might be able to change someone's mind and help them see your perspective.

              1. Catherine's Avatar Catherine

                @ServantOfJudgement

                If you're feeling "spitting venom" directed at you, consider you attract the energy you put out.

          3. Catherine's Avatar Catherine

            @ServantOfJudgement

            Oh, what a saint you are. And living! I jest. Poor taste to be sure... probably because I was homeless. Just saying so you don't need to.

            Do you realize what you gave you took away with your attitude and words?

            How good did you feel about giving people food and money and what not, when you think so little of the people you gave those things to? Did you think, "that's a waste but I did what the bible says"?

            Or did you know the people you gave those things to and thought they deserved a scrap of what you earned?

            What was your inspiration?

            Why do your words not align with your actions?

          4. Amy Varela's Avatar Amy Varela

            The "christians" who are turning people away in dangerous conditions are most often the people who whine about our 'woke' culture. Well, guess who started the woke movement? Jesus did. He was the original woke person, preaching tolerance, love, and taking care of people. How dare you call non-believers antichrist when being anti-woke it literally being anti Christ. Hypocrisy is something Jesus hates. The hypocrites will be the ones to whom he says "I never knew ye."

      3. Wayne Charles Paul's Avatar Wayne Charles Paul

        Would you be able to list all the properties owned by Trump that provided free shelter during the weather crisis?

        1. ServantOfJudgement's Avatar ServantOfJudgement

          Go ask the adulterous dirtbag yourself Wayne. Why trouble me over his life choices?

  1. Alice Faye Martin's Avatar Alice Faye Martin

    I believe that they do. They preach help thy neighbor and the poor. It even says that in the Bible, so they are basically are going against the word of God and Jesus.

    1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

      So, are you of the opinion, Lady Alice, that what you read in a fictional book, that has a deity as the main character, is the actual word of a real god and his friend?

      Just as an FYI, the cat that speaks in “Alice in Wonderland” isn’t real, just in case you think it’s true. Thank you for your comment though 🤗.

      🦁❤️

      1. Amy Varela's Avatar Amy Varela

        They believe, or say they believe, that the bible is the true word of their god, so it does matter. I personally don't think anyone should care what's in the bible if they don't care equally about what's in the Qur'an or any other "holy text".

        1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

          Yes, Lady Amy, I understand they believe it, so it does of course matter to all those that have the need for that belief structure, whether it's the Bible, Book of Mormon, Qur'an, Bhagavad Gita, etc,. I also understand that they see those texts as being holy from their perspective. Thank you for your comment. 🤗

          🦁♥️

  1. Mark A. Bartholomew Sr.'s Avatar Mark A. Bartholomew Sr.

    Yes, the church has a moral obligation to protect the people of the community that are displaced. Also, the government of the town has an obligation to assist with repairs and restoration when needed as a result of the churches opening their doors, and arms.

    1. Donald G Magel's Avatar Donald G Magel

      Churches are no longer "woke" as Christ suggested we be toward the downtrodden and needy. If stoning were still practiced in this country Jesus Christ would be stoned for his teachings about the poor and endangered in our world. He asked us to model his behavior and not chase false leaders. Evangelicals for trump says it all. Many churches now follow the anti-christ.

  1. Colleen McAllister's Avatar Colleen McAllister

    Just this weekend our group of Deacons met to handle this very issue. A family that just began coming and had been put in dire straits due to a drunk driver - and has not asked for help. We decided that we needed to help them and came up with funds for food and anything else they need. It was only a few of us, we are not a rich fancy church, but we have done what we could.

    We tried having a food pantry but wound up with the church being robbed on several occasions so we had to stop.

    Please realize that a majority of churches are struggling just like everyone else. Our last two Pastors have had outside jobs just to support their family. Making blanket statements does a disservice to those who really do act out their faith. Look in the mirror before you blame others. You may not understand the entire situation.

  1. Keith Graham Ainsworth's Avatar Keith Graham Ainsworth

    It's stories like this that make me happy to not consider myself a Christian. Most Christians have drifted so far from Christ's philosophy that their belief has become the antithesis of true christianity

  1. Laura McAllister's Avatar Laura McAllister

    All I can say is when I was young our church was always unlocked, so were other churches in the neighborhood. Times change but it is a Shame that homeless people can’t go to a church and be safe.

  1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

    I worked for over 25 years in the insurance business ensuring churches and other nonprofit organizations. If a church wishes to begin a program to house the poor during the night, there are ways to do that. Check with your insurer because they will want to understand the exposures they are assuming when you do. There is material available from non-profit organizations to help a church design a proper program to do this. In emergency situation such as has occurred in the Pacific Northwest should not be a significant problem for most churches especially if the government has asked them to help.

  1. Dorothy Hawkins's Avatar Dorothy Hawkins

    This article hits hard - living in Wisconsin, and seeing the homeless on street corners begging for assistance. If the churches aren't on board with showing who JESUS was with their actions in frigid weather crises, then I suggest they change their affiliation with the "Christian" label.

    Yes - churches have a moral obligation to help people in need. Frankly, many atheists I've met have more moral fortitude than many I've encountered in "church". "Church" is the spirit of the people who occupy the space - not the space itself.

  1. He Who Breathes's Avatar He Who Breathes

    The J man didn't have to deal with liability insurance. And the fact that one is liable for what happens on your property.

    Even if an intruder gets hurt - they can sue you.

  1. shiningwolf9's Avatar shiningwolf9

    Forgot to add...; With so many different denominations (churches) just about on every corner (I know in the small town growing up, and now in Bloomington, Indiana, why can't they at least ACT christian, and pull together helping the homeless ? Less strain on a single church. Buying facilities to house and feed homeless. I so very agree..., two way street; we help you, but you also help yourself, And, follow any rules ; minus forcing people to listen to sermons ( NO SCRIPTURES FOR THIS ! ) Sharing with them is alright, but, listening, offering help, giving suggestions, these are more effective, seeing / hearing the "teachings" lived out in your lives more affective than sitting through a sermon.

  1. Ari Joseph Bertine's Avatar Ari Joseph Bertine

    Any Christian church has a clear and immutable command from Jesus Christ to tend to the needs of vulnerable people who are unable to care for themselves, and any church that refuses to do so blatantly and openly rejects Christ. If you fear reputation loss, property damage or injury liability more than you fear being the reason that someone freezes to death, you don't belong in the Kingdom of Heaven. Period.

  1. Theresa C. Marquess's Avatar Theresa C. Marquess

    Before considering opening a church to the homeless population, check your insurance first. It may not cover liability should something happen to one of the people in your care. Once you agree to open the doors, you may very well be responsible for the welfare and well-being of the individuals who take your offer.

    1. John Condron's Avatar John Condron

      Where in the bible did you find that advice, Theresa C. Marquess? Can you site chapter and verse please?

      1. Theresa C. Marquess's Avatar Theresa C. Marquess

        The advice that I presented is not in the bible, per se. However, it is sound practical advice for this day and age.

        As in any private business, a church must carry insurance. And just like any private business, a church locks the doors at night. I may not agree with church doors being locked, however, I do understand the liability of leaving them open. I also understand the liability of going against the parameters of an insurance policy. If in doubt, contact the insurance agent who sold you the policy.

        An injured party will sue and no one wants to encounter a lawsuit!

  1. Nicholas J Page's Avatar Nicholas J Page

    That is not Christian like how about when the weather is really bad I know things are different these days but surely a sympathetic view should be held.I know churches are cold but it would be a comfort then being out exposed to the elements.

  1. Asa William Sprague, II's Avatar Asa William Sprague, II

    Context is important. The quote for Jesus saying "The poor will always be with you" comes from Mark 14:7 where Jesus is defending a woman from criticism for anointing Him with very expensive perfume.

    It bothers me that there is this growing trend in modern American Christianity that this quote is lifted out of it's context as if to justify saying: "There's no point in helping the poor because they will always be with us."

    There are supposedly over 2,000 verses in the Bible that deal with the topic of the poor. Here are four of them:

    Deuteronomy 15:11 For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land.

    Proverbs 14:31 Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors Him.

    Proverbs 19:17 Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.

    Mathew 25:40 The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.

    1. ServantOfJudgement's Avatar ServantOfJudgement

      If a lifeboat holds 20 we don't dare load 120 into it. Such is the case in USA2024.

      1. shiningwolf9's Avatar shiningwolf9

        We all see the size of most so called "church" buildings. So, who is talking about a small life boat ? Second time now you stepping in nasty.

        1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

          seems like you are doing all the nasty stepping

      2. James Riggle-Johnson's Avatar James Riggle-Johnson

        If the lifeboat holds twenty then put 20 in the lifeboat. So, because there are 200 people you shouldn’t save any? That sounds very Christian.

      3. Brien's Avatar Brien

        Build a bigger boat. Stop complaining because your life may be good while others suffer. Such is the actions of a vile person. Yes, that is my opinion. I don't require a deity to speak for me, nor did I ask approval for my thoughts.

        1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

          And just how the heck do you expect them to do that? Most of these churches are on a limited plot of land with no more room to grow or build. And if they start building then what are they to do with the ones who need help now?

          1. Brien's Avatar Brien

            I don't know Daniel, how about they at least try. It seems to me that the property you speak of is tax exempt. That's gotta be worth a few thousand. Seems like a good start.

            1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

              And check the Ohio church that just filed a federal charge against Bryan Ohio as they were doing exactly what you said when it was -25 WCF and the city came through and made them stop.

              I admit that they need to do this but you cant sit there and expect them to break the law in doing it. What would have happened if that church had caught on fire? Now you would have over 250 people in a church that was only supposed to be able to hold maybe half of that all trying to get out to save their skins. And who do you think is going to be charged if someone had died.

              I agree with you in principal, but when you are on maybe 300 feet by 300 feet and you have to have parking and surrounded by buildings and houses, just where do you expect them to be able to build?

              1. ServantOfJudgement's Avatar ServantOfJudgement

                Daniel

                Thanks for being kind to me.

                There's a church in downtown Toledo that's geared for taking in and feeding as many homeless that will come. They have professionals trained to help and manage the people who come in from the cold regardless of their condition. If things get out of hand from drugs or regular human confrontation they've got folks there to handle it. The local television stations let their viewers know the church is open so hopefully the word will spread.

                Sadly these churches don't make national news.

              2. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

                I know, and stories like this just give the anti-church people something to troll about and call names.

              3. Brien's Avatar Brien

                NO Daniel, it comes from those of us PUTTING IN THE WORK asking the rest of you to lend a hand. We are talking about PEOPLE. Do what you can. It is people helping people, that is what is needed. Not your negative speeches as to why not. Personally, I think it is cowardly to hide behind excuses.

              4. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

                No Brian, the people ARE putting in the work, but they also must abide by the law in doing it. I mean what do they get if the amount of people in their building is 130 people and they are trying to put in 250 at a time. When the authorities find out they ARE going to shut it down and that means they have gained nothing.

              5. Brien's Avatar Brien

                You are speaking of a very few churches that do. But it is not just churches. The cities MUST take some responsibility here too. There are many empty buildings at any given time owned by the local governments that could be temporarily re-purposed to provide shelter. The problem costs way more than trying solutions. You keep referring to overcrowding as an issue. That just shows how great the need is. It is way past time for excuses. Solutions are needed NOW. People are DYING in the streets. Something needs to happen now.

              6. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

                No Brian YOU are trying to paint all the churches with the same paintbrush and they are not all like that. They do what they can do safely and legally.

              7. John Condron's Avatar John Condron

                Did you even bother to read the article, Daniel Gray? It actually addressed your concerns.

              8. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

                Yes I did and I also read different Ohio Newspapers who had a story about a church in Bryan Ohio who was trying to put more people into the building then allowed. Now Bryan has a federal lawsuit filed against them and the church is going to lose. Its not that hard to figure out. You help as many as you can and be very careful not to break the law so you can continue to help as many as you can, instead of breaking the law and being shut down and then you cant help anyone.

                Its not rocket science.

      4. shiningwolf9's Avatar shiningwolf9

        We all see the size of most so called "church" buildings. So, who is talking about a small life boat ? Second time now you stepping in nasty.

        1. ServantOfJudgement's Avatar ServantOfJudgement

          Metaphors are an excellent way to communicate thoughts and ideas but they only work if the reader has the intellect to comprehend them. Jesus used them to stumble the idiots(unbelievers). It worked.

          You're a pretty mean person I'm seeing, definitely city folk... From what y'all say about Christians, you'd make a fine one.

          Allow me to explain the lifeboat scenario in case your frothy mouth slobbered on the display and blocked some words.

          When anything is designed for a certain capacity, exceeding that capacity will render the thing inoperable, severely crippled or destroyed. The size of the thing is irrelevant. If it's capacity is exceeded, it's capacity is exceeded.

          Even an idiot can understand that. You can understand that can't you?

          The progressive policies the leftwest coast loves has caused a literal explosion in homeless addicts out there. This article is from the leftwest coast. They have homeless addict encampments that would over run any church out there regardless of size. It's not wise to mix 4 year olds with half naked strung out addict looking for anything to sell for the next tweak.

          You seem like real helpful person with plenty of answers, why not let 70 or 80 in your home? I'm sure it's big enough for so few. You could play canasta with them while discussing the benefits of recycling PET bottles and paper products.

          1. David Arthur Lewis's Avatar David Arthur Lewis

            Hey there "Servant of Narcissism". You should try reading that holy book instead of just thumping it. Your comments are the most UNCHRISTIAN crap I have ever read on this site. Try imitating Jesus instead of making up excuses for being selfish, greedy, and exceptionally rude. Grow up.

            1. ServantOfJudgement's Avatar ServantOfJudgement

              I don't normally quote the bible David. I can if you'd like but I'm not sure what id quote.

              Is it rude to call people names?

              I don't recall saying or doing anything about getting stuff and getting more stuff. Please elaborate.

              What was is of mine that you think I should give away that I haven't?

              When people attack me as you've done along with countless others here, they're going to hear back from me. I promise you. You and your kind ignore the initial attack and hone in on my response. Then you dogpile me. Such is the way in nearly all bullying cases. When the victim finally stands up, he gets punished proper.

              You're quite predictable, you all are.

              Do grown-up call each other names? Sounds childish to me.

              Play nice.

              1. Catherine's Avatar Catherine

                @ServantOfJudgement

                As has been said, you attract what you put out.

                You allude to and describe people offensively.

                You employ ad hominems and non-sequiturs.

                • attack people

                • bullying

                • childishness

                So, you self-inflict pain you want others to stop mirroring back to you? That does seem so.

                And you certainly have exhibited a grifter mentality in a twisted way.

                You do those things regularly, yet you're surprised when your words whop you like a boomerang?

                It wasn't until this discussion about homelessness that those characteristics became clear.

                If you don't want to be 'dogpiled', don't put yourself in a position where that can occur. You can say anything you want to say, without being offensive, then crying when that offensiveness is returned.

              2. David Arthur Lewis's Avatar David Arthur Lewis

                I am not calling you names. I just diagnosed your metal illness.

          2. Asa William Sprague, II's Avatar Asa William Sprague, II

            Metaphors CAN be an excellent way to communicate thoughts and ideas, but only when the metaphor fits the scenario; and this is not one of those scenarios.

            The churches in Spokane were not already filled to their capacity. In fact, most sit empty during the night, so there certainly was plenty of space available.

            Also, the lifeboat metaphor does not apply to things in the USA in 2024. This country is nowhere near it's max capacity.

            1. ServantOfJudgement's Avatar ServantOfJudgement

              Asa,

              Lol, you be my guest and try to remove 150 junkies at 830am before Sunday school starts. Who at the church is qualified to deal with a house full of junkies? Who babysit s them? Who handles it when they try to beat up each other or the priest? Well? You've got all the answers who does all that dangerous work?

              Go ahead and let them move in with you but just for the night. Lol have fun.

              The lifeboat thing applies to all things concerning capacity. That's why we went from 20 billion in debt to 20 trillion in debt in less than 30 years. If you exceed the capacity you break it.

              This is basic logic guys. Stop trying to defeat it, you'll never succeed.

              1. Catherine's Avatar Catherine

                @ServantOfJudgement

                You want people to "play nice", as you requested.

                Then why this?

                "Lol, you be my guest and try to remove 150 junkies at 830am before Sunday school starts."

                Try reading your words to yourself out loud before posting.

                Do you really think out of 150 homeless people, that all 150 are junkies?

                What is your malfunction?

                Since gentrificaion took steroids and COVID hit, the majority of homeless people are NOT junkies or criminals.

                Government directed immigration and assimilation of refugees in the U.S. are better cared for than U.S. citizens who are being shoved from stable homes through no direct fault of their own. The worst some of those people did was live in a place that was hit hard with economic issues.

                In Montana - northwest mind you - I saw dozens of families walking through town to get from one place to another. Children of all ages, usually with both parents. Simply because they had lived in an area that lost jobs or where work was shut down due to COVID.

                The shelter I was at there, was allowed legal occupancy of less than 300. Several years ago I read there were about 270-ish homeless people, many who came from Portland, Oregon's overflow of homeless. After COVID hit, the number of homeless increased to over a thousand and growing. So there was nowhere for them to go.

                That's the kind of circumstance tent cities and encampments evolve from.

                So I'd ask where you get your information, except I know that information does not exist.

                The only places where 100% of residents or attendees are 100% junkies, are addiction centers and certain therapy facilities.

                Give it up, dude. You are hopelessly ignorant about homeless people anywhere.

              2. Brien's Avatar Brien

                The main qualification needed is to be a human being. Any other info such as conflict resolution can be found FREE online, typically on the county website wherever you may be. This is nothing more than communication skills.

              3. Catherine's Avatar Catherine
                • And Seattle, not only Portland.
          3. Catherine's Avatar Catherine

            @ServantOfJudgement

            Have I confused you with a post by someone else? Though I read a couple months back, that you recently became christian.

            1. Brien's Avatar Brien

              Catherine, SOJ is confused most of the time.

            2. ServantOfJudgement's Avatar ServantOfJudgement

              That's right Catherine. I was an atheist then agnostic now I believe there is a creator. I once said the things the harsh atheist here say about Christianity and it's christians. I know exactly what they're talking about. In many cases they're on the money.

              I'm still reading and studying the bible for my first time. I takes me a very very very long time to read things I want to understand. A year for lord of the rings. I read the same page many many many times and many more if I need to. Perhaps I've got a touch of Asperger's, dunno.

              As I studied the old testament I tested it against archeological digs. I tested it's philosophy against modern practices. For example, the CDC, FDA, and in general all of modern civilization agree with the vast majority of the bibles cautions against certain foods, blood borne pathogens, crop management and so on. I left what couldn't be tested out, namely the supernatural component. I can't defeat it's wisdom. If companies and businesses violate the bibles wisdom, a three lettered agency will come knocking in most cases. In most cases they'll be standing in front of a judge. This really got my attention for such an ancient writing. All sections and chapters I eventually stopped trying to understand it because it kept going the more I kept going. Very strange, very deep, very endless. I would just call it good enough for now and move on. Come back one day ya know?

              By the time I got to Acts I realized I believed in Jesus and who he is. He just knows mankind so much, unlike any modern psychiatrist could ever achieve. I actually did to Christians what he said I'd do before there were Christians. I don't go to church for the reason atheists say. They'd be powerful harsh on me, I know this. Not all but enough for me to give the finger, not literally but u get my meaning. I don't need people to kick me around, I'm good enough at it to do it myself. I'm still in the new testament going through Romans again and again. Soon I'll call it good and move on to the next.

              I'm just trying to find out who we are, why we're here and what circumstances we're caught up in. I will not ignore the obvious and I will not settle for best guesses aka evolution.

              It's hard to keep track of who's who so if you've come to ding me, do it but be nice about it. If you've come to comfort, I'll take it.

              I'll leave it with a snip from a song I wrote, it's a rock and roll song (God gave me knowledge of music when I asked, literally in one night it poured from me for the first time ever)

              Does redemption turn our rust to gold? Will salvation pour white light into our souls?

              Yes redemption turns out rust to gold!

              Yes salvation breeds white light inside our souls!

              One spent his time digging for gold while one spent his time growing old

              The one that dug for gold got thrown in his hole and the one that grew old had turned to gold!

              Take care Catherine

              1. Catherine's Avatar Catherine

                @ServantOfJudgement

                Again, you get what you put out.

                "if you've come to ding me, do it but be nice about it."

                If you voiced your opinions less offensively, at least in a civil manner if not respectfully to everyone, that could lead to useful dialogue.

                At this point I'm convinced you're aiming for negative attention. Like Brien, I should be done with you. Except I can't let certain poisonous opinions and words go without response.

                You keep talking poison and I'll keep dousing it with mor. Let's see where that goes.

                Keep the ignorance flowing so there's more opportunity for exposure.

              2. ServantOfJudgement's Avatar ServantOfJudgement

                Catherine,

                I'm a little hesitant about responding, I'm not wanting you to relive what you've said. I apologize if I caused you grief or am causing it now.

                You've said what I've said. Brian has said what I've said. Others have said what I've said. Not the same words but the same philosophy. I've said I give food and money to the homeless when I encounter them. I've said my wife and I were nearly mugged by a desperate homeless guy and I talked him down and gave him my food I was carrying for my family. I'm called greedy. I'm called selfish. I'm called names. I'm called sub-human. I'm called a liar. I'm called anything that pleases whoever for whatever.

                When I explain myself as I've done here with you, there's a good chance you or someone comes along and acuses me of holding a pity party for myself. Maybe calls me another name, maybe tells me I'm as dumb as blank. Tear apart anything I say, dissect it, load up the cannons and light the fuse. Waith for my response and repeat. I can take the abuse, it's not new, I know the deal.

                The above was written before you joined the club I hoped you wouldn't but thought you would. You did. You actually went to every post and drilled again and again and again. How unfortunate. Those things I listed about giving to homeless and such were indeed used by you to attack me as I knew would happen. It always does. Always.

                I came here about 8 or 9 months ago to test what the Bible says you guys would do with me. I want to see if it's truth or not. I was instantly attacked. That surprised me. I've spent that time enduring attack after attack after attack. (This is the part you or the next one say oh poor little soj or some such, maybe meaner or worse). Other sites really censor just how mean people can be, not this one. That's a good thing, I need to see people raw and unfiltered.

                Jesus was right when he said what you'd do with me. Couldn't believe it but here we are. I would plead my case more but the abuse does wear one thin especially after months of it. Getting called names daily and reliably can lead to depression so I have to be careful about putting my head under the hammer. I know the wolves are watching and waiting. People see what they want to see usually. They read what they want to read. It doesn't take very long before they've got my entire past and personality mapped out, even what tv stations i watch. When I explain why the things they think are wrong they use it for another attack. Like you saying I say all homeless are junkie psychos. Out west drugs of the worst kind are legal. Legality encourages drug use. Drug use causes desperation and homelessness. It's actually everyone that's piled on me that saying I said that, then it's repeated, then it's fact.

                We all have tragedy in our lives Catherine, some are worse than others, some are horrific. We all get our own though which is tragic to us. Mine is my own and I know better than let this crowd in to see it. Expose tender flesh to the vultures? Lol, I'll pass.

                I work two jobs to recover from losing everything I own back in 09. Usually from 6am-9pm. That's why this post was interrupted. Was at job 2. That's not my tragedy, that's just life. The interruption did make my response somewhat prophetic I suppose.

                Take care Catherine.

              3. John Condron's Avatar John Condron

                How. exactly, is someone "nearly mugged," ServantOfJudgement? What, exactly, does a "near mugging" look like? What level of evidence would it take to support such a ridiculous claim!

              4. Catherine's Avatar Catherine

                @ServantOfJudgement

                If you don't like how life is shaping you, sit with what bothers you until what you can do about it comes.

                Maybe online discussion is a venting procress for you. In which case you might consider venting is unilateral while public discussion is multilateral.

                Playing nice works both ways and does not require conforming to others' expectations.

                When you feel compelled to bash any group of people online, expect push back.

                As far as this discussion is concerned, multiple people called you out. Maybe let it go and don't repeat what brings you grief.

                Unless that's what you want? In which case, David Arthur Lewis may have nailed it with 'narcissism'.

  1. shiningwolf9's Avatar shiningwolf9

    Luke 6:31, “And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.”

  1. shiningwolf9's Avatar shiningwolf9

    There are so very many denominations within christianism, that they seem to hold those more close and sacred than being "Christ like", which is the meaning of "christian". And, though "scripture" does mention he and disciples stayed at people's homes sometimes, it is also mentioned he is supposed to have said, "the son of man has no where to lay his head". (Homeless ?)

  1. Catherine's Avatar Catherine

    The problem is just about everyone wants and expects the 'needy' to be less needy without deference to gentification, circumstances, and mental and physical conditions. Or without considering the fact governments participate directly and indireclty in maintaining a balanced percentage of sick populations, same as maintaining a balanced percentage of military personnel and incarceration in relation to total population.

    None of this will change until people REALLY get tired of it all and do what they can to stop it. That means keeping-it-real discussions. Not tossing ignorance around like a torch to be carried.

    Churches can help to some degree. However, pretending churches can bear all responsiblity is not realistic.

    Less than 100-ish years ago, families took responsibility for the incapable in their homes. After families began being split, supposedly that task fell to communities. Taxes not being spent for intended purposes and tax free churches contribute to what hit critical mass decades ago.

    Any part of these problems is something everyone can do something about in small ways. Especially at the local governance level. If you can and you're not, then you are at fault. If you can't and try anyway, keep your head above water first and help others when it doesn't take you down.

    1. Brien's Avatar Brien

      Agreed 👍

  1. Brien's Avatar Brien

    The Human Being by Brien D. ULC minister

    A recent post on the ULC blog hit close to home for me. I am writing my thoughts down in the hope that some will walk away with a different outlook concerning the subject of homelessness. To understand homelessness, we must start at the beginning. From the time you were pushed out into this world, to this very moment that finds you reading this note, and all the moments after this, you are a human being. Before faith, before ancient writings, before anything tangible, there was the human being. It is the human being that has created everything that has happened up to this point. It is the human being that created language, art, literature, culture, beliefs, wars, and destruction. From our very first day of breath, the human being is in battle. As a baby our battles are small, there are usually adults that fight all of our battles. Every learned response was a battle, do this, not do this. Our young minds must learn lessons that we will use all of our lives. Some lessons are a harder battle than others, but they are all battles of learning. We have adults around, passing down lessons they learned as young children to the current children in the hopes that they will learn and grow. As we start growing from baby to toddler and then up to pre-school age we start trying to formulate opinions mostly involving what we want to do vs what we are instructed to do. This is the beginning of the human being trying to fight their own battles. We are clumsy, without the much needed knowledge to make an informed decision, and so we start losing battles that carry with them important lessons that we should remember to avoid the same loss in the future, and yes more times than not we will face the same decision again. As our life progresses our battles progress as well. The older we get, the more intense the battles become. This is a time when the human being is very much a soldier in life, fighting battles that can fundamentally change the outlook of life. Most soldiers come out of these battles a little scared and a bit wiser. However, not all soldiers survive these battles. Some have gone thru such life changing battles that it has destroyed the very fabric of what they know and believe. A scant few are lucky enough to have other soldiers, (humans), to reach out and lift them out of the terrible loss. Many have no such support. As the days drag onto years, the spirit of these soldiers is damaged so much that they are almost unrecognizable. They stop fighting the battles, they lose reality. Life clings to them like a rag they might wear when it is cold. They are only concerned with living thru today. The thought of death weighs heavy on them. These soldiers, these human beings are alone unto themselves. The only thoughts they have is will I eat today and where will I sleep. Imagine, if you can, surviving a month, a year, 5 years with those as your only thoughts. Imagine being pushed to the side, spit on, yelled at, and even attacked because YOU ARE HOMELESS. Not all soldiers come home from a war, but we have others right here and right now that have no home to go to. Such is the human condition. Please remember before you were whatever you call yourself today, you were born a human being. Please remember that whatever label you use against someone else, they are a human being first. Just like YOU. Some will understand this message, others will shut it out and not even try. Peace.

    1. Catherine's Avatar Catherine

      @Brien

      Thank you for calm clarity.

      I have to constantly remind myself that everyone is on their own journey and I should not interfere. Contradicting that 'live and let live' personal guideline, is a big picture in which everyone is a steward of environments that support their life, which makes each individual responsible according to their ability.

      As you said, humans created current circumstances. Humans can do something about it if they really want to.

      Oddly, so many of those who are quite capable demonstrate disinterest in organizing viable governance within communities such that everyone has a home and as many people as possible function without being used solely as a commodity. Maybe it takes being repeatedly knocked down and getting up to be sufficiently aware of disparities and need for balance. Maybe some people will never be aware?

      For all lawmakers and political parties cry about the expense and inconvenience of homeless people, what long term measures have they put in place to minimize the thorn in their sides? If I could make them seriously think one thought, that would be, 'it's a short trip to homelessness and anyone can fall including them'.

      I do feel more people are beginning to recognize the need for something other than what is.

      Change always comes, even when that takes more time than we feel we have left so we might experience personal benefit.

      Keep faith in yourself, Brien. And keep speaking out.

      Thanks again for your thoughtful words.

      1. Brien's Avatar Brien

        Thank you for your words. If my words about mythical beliefs are harsh at times, please know that I draw them from personal experience. I will not expand on that as it took many years to bury the thoughts. I don't believe all people of organized beliefs to be bad. I object to people of power imposing those beliefs on others. Again, thank you for your words and your life. I hope all is well with you.

  1. Joy's Avatar Joy

    I don't know that anyone will ever have a good answer. Supposedly Jesus even said "there will be poor always," so who knows that the answer is.

    A flip side is also keeping people safe, and keeping the property safe. If the city can't find an answer, why do they think the churches will have the answer?

    1. David George Promis's Avatar David George Promis

      “There will be poor always” is what we use to call a cop out! So is that a reason not to make stronger efforts to address the homelessness issue? Please don’t quote a Bible verse to justify un Christian like ideology. Property protection over actual Christ like behavior? We, me included, only tend to give lip service and not actually assistance is the issue…maybe this is what Christ was referring to my friend. 😌

      1. Joy's Avatar Joy

        I'm simply stating that no one has the answers, even back a few millennia they didn't have the answers. Perhaps we never will. Relax.

        1. David George Promis's Avatar David George Promis

          Don’t be condescending my friend because I hit a nerve…there are answers to this issue, and it’s actually practicing Christianity ✝️ I’m always amazed by the arrogance presented by people who refuse to actively participate in helping those in need, but instead whine and attempt to justify why not 😊.

    2. ServantOfJudgement's Avatar ServantOfJudgement

      I think you nailed it Joy. The West Coast has a big problem with crime, homelessness and addiction to the point no system can handle it.

      A lifeboat can only hold so many. Exceeding it's capacity equates to death for all.

      No good answer at all.

      1. Joy's Avatar Joy

        Agree, SOJ. It's a horrible situation all over the world right now. I like your lifeboat analogy.

  1. Alexander Arends's Avatar Alexander Arends

    It should be the Church's responsibility to take care of its flock, its body of believers. Jesus said "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest". And I have seen it over and over again, congregations helping its members get back on their feet, offering temporary housing, getting furniture, offering food baskets, and yes, even jobs. And the church should teach its flock to be generous even to those outside of the church. Some do. Many non-Christians do also. And so before criticizing any church, how about you? As a Christian, do you open your doors to the needy, the hungry, the poor? It is not an easy choice.

    1. Brien's Avatar Brien

      It should be a HUMAN responsibility not some make believe deity. Unfortunately, we are sadly short on human beings.

      1. Alexander Arends's Avatar Alexander Arends

        You are right and that is what I was saying. But the Church should have the responsibility to take care of its own members,

  1. Elizabeth Jane Erbe Wilcox's Avatar Elizabeth Jane Erbe Wilcox

    Wow. That’s all I can say.

  1. Merlin's Avatar Merlin

    There are fire codes that can prevent usage as a shelter at a lot of locations.

    1. John Condron's Avatar John Condron

      Yes, Merlin. There are fire codes, which are the responsibility of the very same city government that was asking the churches to shelter the homeless. I am as certain that those city officials were aware of the details of those fire codes -- and that you are most certainly not.

      BTW: Where in the bible might I find reference to fire codes? Can you site chapter and verse, please?

  1. Clay Serenbetz's Avatar Clay Serenbetz

    It would help if the city council extended liability and damage coverage to the Churches that the city calls upon for help. Many churches are struggling financially themselves, often due to reduced attendance. Asking Churches to pay more for insurance and additional maintenance without additional support from the city is not fair to the Congregations and may drive them out of business. Basically, it's a tax on the Congregation. It's true that Jesus didn't have to consider additional costs related to liability and maintenance. Homeless people are generally unwashed and drug addicts which would impair the Church's physical and fiscal well-being.

    1. Brien's Avatar Brien

      Why does a church need "fiscal" well being? I thought the great mythical being provides what is needed. Churches enjoy a tax free status, so cry me a river. They set themselves up as being for all people, as helping the down trodden, yet when the rubber meets the road they hide behind one excuse or another. Churches today are complete failures that do nothing but collect money so the preacher can make a buck. Homeless people are more human than most all of the churches that I have see in my lifetime. If given the choice of speaking with homeless or speaking with a zealot, I'll take homeless conversation any day of the week. Peace✌

    2. Catherine's Avatar Catherine

      @Clay Serenbetz

      "Homeless people are generally unwashed and drug addicts which would impair the Church's physical and fiscal well-being"

      1) How directly familiar are you with homeless people, such that you can say they are generally unwashed and drug addicts?

      2) Homeless people are big busines to any church or facility that receives funding. Catholic Charities is among the worst I personally experienced, unless you think fitting people like sardines in a can under an overpass surrounded by a chain link fence every night while pigeons s*it on them is adequate? Or mostly sugar and flour food that makes and keeps people sick.

      3) Churches that don't receive funding to help the 'needy', that do not care for the needy anyway, are essentially not functioning with biblical intent. That fact can be used to discuss with a church's city or town so that circumstance can be effectively reddressed.

      If you research history behind the establishment of Catholic Charities and their homeless facilities, eventually you'll find corelation to prisons the Catholic church built and ran - still run. Why would it do that? Because the Catholic church is paid for ministering to the incarcerated, which also allows the Catholic church to benefit from the services provided by the incarcerated. It's a win win win for the Catholic church.

      I overheard a director at one homeless shelter discussing profit margins and commenting its average income was about "$1,500 per head" for each homeless person who signed in every night for a month. And the VA paid more for homeless veterans at another place. So though there were fewer veterans, veterans pulled about 2/3 of that facility's income. Whoa! Right?

      Churches not paying taxes did pave the way for non-religious non-profits. So not all is bad. Nonetheless, if you think churches who receive funding for 'caring' for homeless people are terribly burdened, look closer. Everything churches don't pay for is paid for by U.S. taxpayers. And while a church can go belly up financially, that is - from what I've seen across decades - due to poor management and or a supply and demand problem. Maybe they weren't in a good location? Or maybe people are catching on to mass deceptions.

      Here is a religious group protecting its turf from privately owned prison businesses. I'm not a fan of either, however the activity is notable.

      https://www.aclu-tn.org/en/who-cca-numerous-religious-groups-condemn-prison-privatization

      There is much more than what appears on the surface.

  1. Bridget Kielas-Fecyk's Avatar Bridget Kielas-Fecyk

    I am not surprised. Now-days, sadly, churches, even ones that swear up and down that they're devout, and most of those that follow them, only pay lip service to their beliefs. They do NOT actually truly believe in what they claim, unless they're spouting hate (some not all of them do this), and they RARELY ever actually care for their fellow humans.

  1. Kevin Oconnell's Avatar Kevin Oconnell

    It's a shame how churches forget their real calling.

    1. Brien's Avatar Brien

      It's a shame that human beings forget that they are human beings.

  1. David George Promis's Avatar David George Promis

    The unequivocal answer is always yes! The church shouldn’t be about people dressing up pretty and attending on Sundays, or Saturdays, etc. A church should always offer sanctuary in a time of need, and any reason not to is just a selfish excuse.

  1. TheSound.com's Avatar TheSound.com

    Jesus, who was really called Yashua, did not build churches and did not like temples. He called them a "house of thieves." Jesus did not write any books, but some of the most important things he said are still remembered. He emphasized the importance of helping the poor and needy. Every church, shop, business, office, home, or anywhere warm and safe should take in a homeless person who would otherwise die outside in the cold. A chance to show your compassion is a chance to show your Christianity. Make the most of every chance you get to be kind, and if you see someone in need, help them.

    Right before your death, your entire life will flash before your eyes, and you will see and feel the acts of kindness you did from the point of view of everyone who was affected. You will also feel the suffering, if you had a chance to help and failed to do so, which will fill you with great regret. So be kind for the good of yourself and others.

  1. William David Moreman's Avatar William David Moreman

    Amen!!! Who does Ceaser tax? His sons or strangers. Part of the reason churches are tax exempt is they are supposed to help the needy.

  1. Humanism Clergy Linda's Avatar Humanism Clergy Linda

    Yes it is up to the pastor's and priests of various faiths to help those in need. I remember when growing up churches were open 24/7 . It was a sad day when they decided to only be open one day a week. Since 2016 it has gotten worse they no longer practice Christ's teachings. Now it's all about the Old testament, which is all about hatred. Very sad.

  1. Rev. Donut's Avatar Rev. Donut

    Yep.

  1. Walter W Stumpf Jr's Avatar Walter W Stumpf Jr

    YES, they should!

  1. Lisbeth Kieran Bushey's Avatar Lisbeth Kieran Bushey

    There are dozens of verses in the Old and New Testaments about how the Christian and Jewish god wants people to help the homeless and anyone in need. It's sad that so few follow this.

  1. Craig Buchanan's Avatar Craig Buchanan

    The results of the community ask is why so many churches are seeing declining membership. More and more the people of the world are seeing that the Church described in the Bible has no parallel in a lot of churches today.

  1. Devon Atkins's Avatar Devon Atkins

    I think we as a community have forgotten what christ taught, not by what he said but what he showed, or did, how he lived his life, he showed us how to live a humanitarian life, weather believers or not, the Bible can teach or guide how to live a humanitarian live, the Bible is a good resource if translated correctly, I think as a believer my self that churches posters forget this and that church is to serve, church is just a vessel, a building nothing more, what we do is what makes it a house of God, so in saying this, opening the door for our neighbors in need, is serving God, this action is and action of service of God, and ultimately creates the ministry that Jesus christ charged us with, this service I see is the most holy of services.

  1. Mrs Sharon Nellis's Avatar Mrs Sharon Nellis

    If you refuse to protect and aid the most vulnerable in society, Don't expect the lord to help or listen to your false hearts..

  1. Colleen McAllister's Avatar Colleen McAllister

    Hard call. My church is very small and has no one there most days. Insurance is a factor as we are in a so-called low income/crime ridden area. We do help the homeless and the undocumented as much as we can and have even allowed some to stay in the annex house next door. We don't have the extreme weather spoken of in the article so I'm not sure how we would handle that. We do what we can, but not sure that anything wold be enough. As noted in one of the posts above, Jesus said the poor will be with us always.

    1. shiningwolf9's Avatar shiningwolf9

      Luke 6:31, “And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.”

      1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

        How do you know that's what he actually said?

        🦁♥️

        1. Rev. Elizabeth's Avatar Rev. Elizabeth

          They hear God when He talks. They have Faith. Apparently you can’t heard God’s voice and apparently you don’t have Faith. I’m so sorry. I will pray for that for you Mr. Lionheart. 😁🙏🏼

          1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

            Awww, bless your heart, Lady Elizabeth. Yes I’m sure some people hear voices in their heads from their gods. It’s a common aberration with those who have convinced themselves that they hear things.

            On the plus side, most will dodge a huge bullet from having people in white coats visit them if they say the voice in their head is from a deity. Most seem to be able to get away with it when they say that.

            Anyway, thank you so much for offering to talk to it on my behalf. 🤗

            🦁❤️

    2. shiningwolf9's Avatar shiningwolf9

      As you have done to the least of these, you have done it to me.

    3. shiningwolf9's Avatar shiningwolf9

      As you have done to the least of these, you have done it to me.

  1. Matthew Mastrogiovanni's Avatar Matthew Mastrogiovanni

    The homeless don't donate.

    1. ServantOfJudgement's Avatar ServantOfJudgement

      No they don't. Out west they steal, rape, murder, brutalize and burn to the ground. Handy work of godless politicians.

      1. shiningwolf9's Avatar shiningwolf9

        You like to put all homeless in the same pot. Let's count up how many preachers have banged many of their congregation, fathering children out of wedlock (in case you refuse to read). The wealthier ones living like kings, also. I can very well go on and on.

        1. ServantOfJudgement's Avatar ServantOfJudgement

          Wolf Your reading comprehension is terrible, no offense.
          When I said 'out west' I created a division in the type of homeless person. In other words, I don't lump all homeless together. Here in Ohio our churches keep the doors open where there are homeless. We don't have homeless addict encampments like where this article focuses on. Not sure what infidelity has to do with this article about the homeless in winter. Perhaps you're just windmill swinging like children do when they fight on the playground. FYI, you're swinging with your eyes closed.

          1. Catherine's Avatar Catherine

            @ServantOfJudgement

            Breathe. Some of your recent posts reflect more anger than not. What's really going on?

            I think Matthew Mastrogiovanni nailed the first issue. Any business has resposibility to stay afloat. Where that stops and the rest begins is another set of issues.

            I agree with those who say if a city or town asks a church to take people in, that city or town needs to help it along and smooth the way. That said, most churches - I'm aware of - taking people in on a regular basis do it because they're making money on every 'head that signs in', Several years ago it was about $1,500 'per head' per month. Like cattle at auction. Except cattle generally suffer less long.

            The whole system is broken. I can't think of a good answer or solution that includes dehumanization, name calling, or useless snarkiness.

            As for your 'out west' reference, a couple weeks after an oncologist said I might have about a year to live (2006), I lost my great job and the great insurance that went with it. I was homeless most of about eight years. Partly because of extreme depression and waiting to die. Partly because I lost my sister, a dear uncle, mother, and brother within a span of 7 months (2013-14). Partly bad reactions to medications I should never have been treated with, because being about 17 years past the deadline now, it appears I was misdiagnosed by several doctors over several years.

            All of which seriously interferes with the ability to think clearly. Never had a drug or alcohol problem. Eventually there was a disability check which was barely enough to buy food, vitamins, gas, occasional thrift store clothing and books, campground fees, and pay for a phone. Hooked several times to avoid freezing to death. Went south to avoid recurrence of that situation. Heat and humidity are suffocating, so I went north again. A VA shelter facility said I had to let them tow my jeep because neighbors in the area thought it made their property look trashy. Oddly enough, I did better without transportation because that forced me into VA facilities, however lacking those typically are. The irony there is VA has no place for anyone without an alcohol or drug or dual diagnosis condition. So I kept not 'fitting criteria' until I nearly lost what was left of my life.

            Moved constantly. Lived in my jeep as long as that lasted. Mind, a lot of homeless people have no transportation. Lived on hiking trails. In campgrounds when possible, etcetera. If VA records are accurate, I 'lived' in 8 states and 14 VISNs, altogether. A recent credit report shows I had 27 'addresses' in the last 15 years, and that doesn't include anywhere I stayed without an address. Most of those addresses belonged to shelters, churches, and VA facilities.

            Tried to help someone else who was less able, and ended up relocated due to a 'domestic violence' incident which was not that, though police said they couldn't help the other person unless they said so.

            All my immediate family are deceased. Husband died. Youngest son died. Because doctors convinced me I was dying year after year despite "brief remissions", perhaps you can see how depression and self-isolation became the new norm. Asking friends for help seemed pointless and why drag anyone else into my drama? Relocation put me in the northwest and in the worst of that seemingly endless downward spiral Two people were killed at that shelter within a couple weeks. Human trafficking. Staff screwing sheltered homeless. Rotten food. Moldy bathrooms. Nearly everyone sick with something most of the time. There's more. But I'll leave it there.

            Filed a VA claim which was approved for TDIU. Now I 'talk' with people here because it's next to impossible for me to have a conversation face-to-face without some aspect of the these past 17 or so years bursting strained seams.

            If you've been homeless, you don't talk it.

            If you haven't been homeless, don't speak like you have personal insights on that side. Do feel free to speak like an ignoramus, because that's what most people who haven't been homeless do. Perfectly understandable as long as you stay on your side of that discusison.

            Live in a bubble if you will. However, if you don't want to continue being as ignorant as you accuse others of, s+t+f+u. I don't see that happening. But, not sounding like a braying *** is an option anytime : . )

            Peace

            1. Brien's Avatar Brien

              Thank you for those comments. Thank you for your life. Peace✌

            2. ServantOfJudgement's Avatar ServantOfJudgement

              Thank you very kindly Catherine. That's a very gut wrenching past you've shared. Truly.

              With respect, you did just say what I've been saying. For some reason I can say the same thing an opponent says and they don't see it plain as day. They say what I say then tell me to shut the heck up.

              Catherine said:

              "Relocation put me in the northwest and in the worst of that seemingly endless downward spiral Two people were killed at that shelter within a couple weeks. Human trafficking. Staff screwing sheltered homeless. Rotten food. Moldy bathrooms. Nearly everyone sick with something most of the time. There's more. But I'll leave it there."

              You said that right? You specific pointed to the region I specifically pointed to that this article is discussing. I'm not imagining that am I? Why can you say it's true but I can't.

          2. Brien's Avatar Brien

            "No they don't. Out west they steal, rape, murder, brutalize and burn to the ground. Handy work of godless politicians." I guess your not referring to the all homeless as rapists, killers, and thieves. That's the way it reads to me soj, no matter what you try to reference, that is what YOU wrote. Care to say that I am wrong?

            1. ServantOfJudgement's Avatar ServantOfJudgement

              Brien,

              Yes I wrote that. Yes they do that. No little church down the street is equipped to handle this problem. There's a reason the military won't grant top secret or secret security levels to former junkies. FORMER junkies. They're unpredictable and an extreme liability. I don't like it. I don't want it this way but that's how it is. There are Christians that invite these poor souls in their home and wind up dead. Those Christians are so naive they think God will not let them perish under the hands of a lunatic. I might remind those Christians that Jesus said you'd better watch your butt when dealing with the world.

              Help where you can when you can how you can. Don't risk the innocence around you. You wanna go to Pittsburgh and help the zombie junkies, fine. Don't take your wife and kids and make dang sure you've got your will filled out proper before you set out.

              Don't chide people for not doing what we don't do. You expect little old Hellen to baby sit a bunch of strung out junkies on meth that can't stop cranking it?

              1. Catherine's Avatar Catherine

                @ServantOfJudgement

                Who is 'they'? Can you put names to faces? How well are you famiiar with the 'they' you keep referring to? What do you really know about 'they'?

                How you clump all homeless individuals into a single messy pile of the worst humans can be, is part of why nothing can be done. So many people like you do that. So few of you have a clue, yet you keep talking about homeless people like you know what's going on.

                Repeatedly, you make clear you don't have the slightest familiarity with what homelessness is like. Why do you keep on about it?

              2. Brien's Avatar Brien

                So, you can understand why I find you to be less than human. You have set yourself as judge and jury and with one broad stroke you have labeled all homeless as criminals. I must admit I am somewhat shocked that a self professed "christian" would exclaim something that vile. Please know that the one thing I am most grateful for right now is that you and I never have to meet. Live your life as you see fit, We will never speak again.

              3. ServantOfJudgement's Avatar ServantOfJudgement

                No brien, I can't understand why anyone would think a human is subhuman. Sounds Hitlerish.

                You've never said a single thing about any Christian other than rotten bile. Indeed you are what you say I am. That is to say you practice what you say I preach. With a single antichrist brush, you paint all Christians as vile sub humans.

                I'm very glad you've shared that.

          3. Catherine's Avatar Catherine

            @ServantOfJudgement

            Again, your ignorance is beyond abundant. Yet you wave it around so proudly.

            Why you focus on one area for homelessness is bizarre when homelessness is all over. Your lack of insights helps no one.

            You think you're being intelligent by using what I said about one place in the northwest to support what you say? Not even.

            There are so many more all over. In the Chicago area alone there were more than 600 shelters when I was there. Most of which were not places anyone would want to walk past, much less stay. Unless condoms and needles gathered beneath windows and around corners works for you.

            Context matters. When I say I experienced the worst in the northwest, it's because that was the only bad place I couldn't avoid. Prior to that, I'd been in a position to choose to stay somewhere or not. Circumstances landed me in the northwest. Not because the northwest is the worst area for homeless people to be. Keep flaunting your ignorance though. At least people know more easily what to pay attention to.

            You add no value to this discussion.

          4. Catherine's Avatar Catherine

            @ServantOfJudgement

            You said:

            "When I said 'out west' I created a division in the type of homeless person. In other words, I don't lump all homeless together. Here in Ohio our churches keep the doors open where there are homeless. We don't have homeless addict encampments like where this article focuses on."

            You repeatedly lump all homeless people together as if all were addicts, criminals, and generally beyond help.

            The point of my soliloquy, is not all homeless people are what you think. That anyone can become homeless without regard to status, financial means, social network. That means you. And anyone you care about.

            I never thought I'd be homeless. I've always been self-sufficient and twice earned more than former husbands. I am not someone anyone would have thought would be homeless.

            THAT is the point you conveniently overlooked. If you think life can't touch you with homelessness, well that's pure arrogance and assumption.

            Said elsewhere, a recent issue of the Harvard Law Review is almost entirely focused on the impact of AI in the workforce and society at large. A 30% decrease in the U.S. work force is expected by 2030. Think about that.

            What do you imagine might happen to people who comprise that 30%? Think anyone you know might be touched? Will you talk about them as if they were all self-infliced lepers?

            I stay in this discussion here and elsewhere because if people don't work out a way to manage just that loss of 30% of jobs that will impose homelessness on a huge chunk of the U.S. population, then those left standing will likely have no choice except further dehumanize so they can sleep and function.

            Now some of that AI article says people will be retrained for AI jobs. However, that requires education that is mostly available only to what used to be upper middle class.

            Maybe you're in that group. Maybe that's why you speak as if life can't touch you in unimaginable ways. Do you really think your existence is so important that you can't end up in circumstances beyond your current comprehension?

        2. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

          And lets count how many people like you that refuse to allow the churches to help women and children,

          1. ServantOfJudgement's Avatar ServantOfJudgement

            To your point Daniel, I heard on the radio this morning there's a little church in Bryan Ohio that's under fire by the city for staying open 24 hrs to shelter the homeless. The preacher is facing 12 criminal charges.

            If the church doesn't stay open they get slammed by the godless people. If the church stays open they get slammed by the godless people and the preacher goes to jail.

            1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

              Exactly. And the church is surrounded by buildings and homes and their parking lot. So where do some of these people expect the church to build on or enlarge?

      2. Catherine's Avatar Catherine

        @ServantOfJudgement

        What point were you trying to make with your comment about homeless individuals?

        "they steal, rape, murder, brutalize and burn to the ground. Handy work of godless politicians."

        1) God-abiding politicians have not been an improvement over the Godless sort. Being about a 1/3 of the U.S. is non-christian, seems God-abiding politicians should have made more progress by now. If only it weren't for the Godless kicking their shins.

        2) The bible highlights and idealizes christians who "steal, rape, murder, brutalize and burn to the ground" in the name of Jesus and God. Among other generally perceived atrocious acts.

        Per your words, homeless individuals rank with the most fervent christians. Why do you repeatedly slam homeless people, then backpeddle when that is pointed out?

    2. shiningwolf9's Avatar shiningwolf9

      The son of man has nowhere to lay his head. HOMELESS

  1. Dr. Zerpersande, NSC's Avatar Dr. Zerpersande, NSC

    The Jewish Zombie would have taken one coat and cloned it as many times as was necessary. Current churches lack this skill. Don’t be too hard on them.

    Wait, didn’t the Zombie say something about anybody with two coats helping to deal with this exact situation? I bet the churches didn’t need to do anything because the xtians were out pounding the concrete taking care if the situation.

  1. Rolando Couce's Avatar Rolando Couce

    THESE CHURCHES ARE PIECES OF CRAP RUN BY PIECES OF CRAP PEOPLE WHO ARE JUST INTERESTED IN MONEY AND POWER AND FREE GOVERMENT HANDOUTS THEY ARE LUCKY I AM NOT GOD

  1. Michele Bogue's Avatar Michele Bogue

    All I have to say is shame, shame, shame on those who refused to help their fellow man in danger, Jesus is watching, tik-tok, tik-tok. Things are about to change, good luck to them.

  1. Pastor Wm. Dawson's Avatar Pastor Wm. Dawson

    First of all, no the church has no obligation to house the homeless. There is nothing in the scriptures that says they do, (look in Acts 9 thru Philemon) these are what pertains to us, anything before that is historical and under the law for Hebrews ONLY. The church is only liable for congregations of Christ believers. Study to show thyself approved.

    1. Catherine's Avatar Catherine

      Would Jesus agree? Who would Jesus exclude?

  1. LaChanda White's Avatar LaChanda White

    I believe this is true to do for help. Less sick homeless in the emergency rooms at the hospital during the cold season. I myself had an experience with needing a safe warm place to sleep from 10:pm - till 5:30,6am during ng what the east Coast calls (Code Blue). Hot tea, coffee, and a bowl of soup was offered. A place to put blankets down and sleep safe. The shelters in lots of states full up & have more dangers then even being homeless does. A place where respect must happen, calmness& organization to be learned. A bathroom & toiletries supplied if needed. Why not use donations from the community to supply support for healther streets & some empathy for those who had do things a different way. Churches can also provide social work for those people, as well as an address for mail to come for benefits. Don't knock it cause u haven't been there!

  1. Richard Faust's Avatar Richard Faust

    Most are prohibited to do so by Satan, it deters from his recruiting goals

  1. Kim Anne Roberson's Avatar Kim Anne Roberson

    Ok so I must say that not all homeless are "junkies" as you called them some struggle with mental illness but drug addiction is also an illness like cancer one wouldn't go putting a lable on a cancer patient so why must all homeless be labeled as "junkies" and yes I do think our churches should open up especially when there will be people there supervising things

  1. Rev Ned's Avatar Rev Ned

    Not very “Christian” to me IMHO. Remember, Jesus said, If you’ve done it to the least of them, you’ve done it unto Me.

    1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

      Assuming he really existed, how do you know that's what he said?

      🦁♥️

      1. Rev. Elizabeth's Avatar Rev. Elizabeth

        Mr Lionheart, you know what we will say and it will give you another reason to be negative.

        I’m going by to suggest that you pray that very question and listen for His voice. He will tell you, I promise. You have to listen good. He’s a soft spoken God. 😁🙏🏼

        1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

          Thanks again, Lady Elizabeth. “Feelings” that we all are capable of manifesting within us are really wonderful aren’t they? Even my dog gets them when I return home.

          Many associate some feelings have been generated by their own particular deity that they love to worship, and when they get those feelings, they like to believe it’s a reply from their deity. Mormons have those feelings from their God, and Muslims have those feelings from their God. All of them say they have listened to that soft, spoken voice.

          Thank you for your concern. May the ground you walk upon always be firm. 🛡️⚔️🛡️

          🦁❤️

  1. Rev Ned's Avatar Rev Ned

    All churches are now businesses. The product they produce and sell is “the Hope of eternal life”. They need new people attending to fill the coffers. The business models range from the Catholic (make as many babies as you can) to the Shakers (total separation of the sexes, no babies). Catholicism is rich beyond belief. Shakers, almost extinct. No kids attending Sunday School, no new adults filling the collection plate. Business!

    1. Rev. Elizabeth's Avatar Rev. Elizabeth

      Rev Ned. All that is Not true. It depends on the town or city. There are still people who attend church and believe and work for a better day when Jesus arrives. Not all feel the way you do. Yes, churches are businesses. But they are for God’s children. I know there are some bad churches out there. There are good ones too. We look for the good and report the bad. I’m a former Catholic because of how they did me wrong so many times and I was assaulted by three prowess in my life. They laid their hand on me in anger. I didn’t report them. I told them I would pray for them and never went back to that church. I did report them and I told them that it happens to many by this priest. I pray they are asking for forgiveness and don’t hurt others anymore or they are removed from dealing with people. I’m not longer a. Catholic and today I understand why I was blocked from certain situations I should have had done. His blocked it so I would become a Methodist and then become a minister. That was the plan since I was 6. I declared that I had to work for God. He made that happen. 😁

  1. Amy Varela's Avatar Amy Varela

    With the money they save being tax-exempt, they should hire security for times like this. They can even work with crisis teams, addiction therapists and job-finding services. At least it would be an attempt to follow Jesus.

    I don't believe the nonsense in the bible, but I will go so far as to say the person known as Jesus could have existed, and apart from the magical stuff, he could very well have started wokeism - being a decent human being. At least someone had the idea of not being an immoral, genocidal, infanticidal, misogynistic, racist monster like the god character in the Old Testament. Or Paul.

    1. Catherine's Avatar Catherine

      Your suggestions are good, however good ideas fail when not implemented to benefit the intended. That is the status quo that needs to be shaken. If homelessness were less profitable, it might be more easily resolved. Perhaps homelessness will only be resolved when it touches lawmakers' doorsteps in some way.

    2. Rev. Elizabeth's Avatar Rev. Elizabeth

      Hello Amy. The Old Testament is history. That is how it was before Jesus. I hated God from reading the Old Testament. That was not someone I wanted to believe in and follow. And then I read the New Testament and then I knew. I knew my purpose and with the help of my mother reading to a 6yr old, I had God with me and guide me to one day become a minister and help many. The Old Testament needs to be treated as a history we never want to live like again. Everyone has to remember, this is Satan’s world and until Jesus returns and fights Satan, we must keep our faith, be kind to others in the way you can. Just a smile even. The life for us in our future I cannot wait for it to happen. 🙏🏼😁

  1. Anthony Jones Boyette's Avatar Anthony Jones Boyette

    This is todays "corporate church"....all they care about is making sure the collection plate is full. Everything else, be damned.

    Yeah, they'll preach that abortion is good if it gets a dollar in the plate. They'll preach that god actually approves of homosexuality, if it'll gain them a new parishioner.

    Homeless? Cold? We don't give a damned. But lets put up an LGTB nativity scene and call it "the work of the Lord."

    1. Rev. Elizabeth's Avatar Rev. Elizabeth

      There are many churches that Satan got his hand in. Many bad churches.

  1. William Dusenberry's Avatar William Dusenberry

    If supernatural-dependent churches, don’t feel compelled to help the poor, as Christian mythology claims Jesus preached was their primary mission to do, what other possible purpose do they serve, besides being a cash-cow for those passing the collection plates?

  1. Steven Ferrell's Avatar Steven Ferrell

    There is a lot to consider. Who will supervise to ensure damage and theft does not take place? Who is going to cover the added cost of smaller churches to pay for the year, lights, water? Many smaller churches just manage to pay their current bills.
    What about liability to pay if someone gets hurts or injured, who will cover that? Then I did not see mentioned if they told the churches they could or could not preach the gospel to them while there? In some cities if a church does open up to shelter homeless, they are told they cannot share the gospel and must even take down things like pictures of Jesus, etc.
    there is a lot of missing items from this article.

    1. John Condron's Avatar John Condron

      Those questions were actually addressed in the article, Steven Ferrell.

      Reading is fundamental!

  1. Rev. Elizabeth's Avatar Rev. Elizabeth

    It would be nice to human kind if they would. Maybe the neighborhood they are in can help with bedding such as a sleeping bag and a pillow. Maybe some coffee and a healthy sandwich. That alone would bring warmth to the homeless person. An ideal situation is that there were many homes that the homeless could sleep in when it is so cold.

    Remember, most of our homeless are mentally challenged. They were booted out of the hospitals and put on the street. It’s horrible and these people don’t know what is going on. So if a school gymnasium, a church, halls people rent for parties and weddings. If they could help the people when it is so dangerously cold out. Ask people to volunteer to help keep them warm. People can donate sleeping bags and a pillow. The homeless won’t keep them or they can keep them. I just think it is compassion and of course volunteers are needed or it won’t work.

    I’m going to pray on this. Then I’m going to ask my city and the churches around me if they could do that. We are cold here in Florida. We have been in the mid 30s and bordering the freezing mark. I’m going to ask the city to put out help for the people on the street that people donate some form of bedding. I think the sleeping bags are the best thing to do. I’m going to start this going in my neighborhood. I pray people will donate and even help out with some coffee and food. ~Rev. Elizabeth S. Arsenault

    1. Catherine's Avatar Catherine

      @Rev. Elizabeth

      While your sentiments seem from the heart, what you suggest is more of what has clearly been demonstrated to not have lasting results.

      There will always be a small handful of homeless with mental challenges who are unable to live among people. And some with physical challenges who require more care than family can provide.

      Most homeless people I've encountered were able to do something, be something. They only needed a hand up toward a permanently stable situation. Not a hand out for a temporary solution that someone who has never been homeless would reject outright. Anything is not better than something, when that anything perpetuates the problem.

      When you talk with your city and nearby churches, I hope it will be to focus on long term solutions that don't maintain the status quo. Homelessness is big business, so please don't let your efforts be put off by those who want to make money from keeping people homeless.

      1. Rev. Elizabeth's Avatar Rev. Elizabeth

        I completely agree with you Catherine and I have meetings set up already this coming week. It will always be for the long range goal to help the people. Many of our churches have showers and enlisted the people to come and feel clean. Clothes are donated for the people to have nice clean clothes. Footwear too. I was happy to hear that. The schools and churches feel the homeless but can only do it for once a day. So much is going on already. I will learn more with the meetings I have been invited to attend. I will do this in my brother-in-law’s name. He had siblings that bent over backwards to help him. He chose the streets after a bit and he stole from them. It was his choice. He had an addiction and it took him away from us last year (Dec of 2022). Thank you for your input. I’m going to bring this with me to see if they speak of these actions. I will keep your identity private. I will tell them I learned even more from this person on this site. Again, thank you for your input. I appreciate it very much. His Bless you and yours. ~ Rev. Elizabeth

    2. John Condron's Avatar John Condron

      No, Rev. Elizabeth. It is patently absurd to suggest that "most of our homeless are mentally challenged." Do some research before spewing misinformation!

      1. Rev. Elizabeth's Avatar Rev. Elizabeth

        Mr. Condron; when you have differences of opinions with others, via email, posts or face to face, are you always so nasty? You can disagree with me without nastiness. I do watch the news and read some news. It has been reported most of the homeless people have some sort of mental challenge and many have been removed from hospitals and put in the streets because funds ran out or whatever other reason for that facility.

        I just shared what I heard and read. I’m not an expert on how many are mentally challenged and how many are not.

        I had a brother-in-law that chose the street because he was addicted to drugs. He comes from a family of 12 siblings and all of them have offered him help. His best friend, my brother, offered to help him get a job and a home. He would accept when he got out of jail. They leave to go to work and come home, find him gone and many stolen items and any money in the house. This was against his own sibling(s). After that we offered help but through a facility that help people with addiction and to get work and a roof over his head. He always denied. We wouldn’t hear from him for years and then he would pop up. He missed his parent’s death and a couple of siblings. He was sad and tried again. He didn’t want to do the work to be well. I know what I’m talking about when it comes to him and he was mentally challenged. Unfortunately we lost him to an overdose. He was laying in the street, cold. No chance to revive him. He’s out of his misery now and now we don’t have to worry about him. We are so sad this had to happen to him.

        Many of the homeless actually choose that life and many do not want it. I don’t claim to have all the answers but I hate seeing these people hurting and with no home. I’ve been challenged by some homeless, women or man, that it was evident he/she needed help. Police are around when you need them. I was just walking to the store. My city built a home for the homeless. They only go there when it is too cold. Some stay there year round yet won’t get help for their addiction. My city tries but there are not enough psychiatrists in our country to deal with all of them that are not alright. All I did was make a statement and I used one word that got you in a tizzy. I bet you suffer from high blood pressure.

        You could have rebutted what I said in a calm manner and stated your knowledge or dislike my choice of a word.

        I will pray you learn how to do a rebuttal with kindness instead of all that anger. Good Day Mr. Condron. Be well. Smile 😁, it’s contagious.

        ~Rev. Elizabeth

        1. John Condron's Avatar John Condron

          First, Rev. Elizabeth, you made a claim that "most of our homeless are mentally challenged." I referred to your unsupported assertion as patently absurd; which it was and is.

          I think you are lucky if your life experiences have been such that you found my comment "nasty." In the online world into which you inserted yourself when you commented here, that was actually quite tame... especially in comparison with other comments in this blog.

          Since you are "not an expert on how many (unhoused people) are mentally challenged and how many are not," you should probably refrain from using words like "many," which imply such knowledge. It is safer to say things like *"Many of the homeless actually choose that life and many do not want it." All one would have to do to support such a statement is to find just two people for whom it was true.

          I wonder, by the way, if you understand just how passive aggressive and condescending (read "nasty") it is to say that you will pray for me. Probably not. It is difficult to see outside your own point-of-view.

  1. John Casillo's Avatar John Casillo

    ALL THESE COMMENTS RESOLVE ZERO.....WHY WOULD GOD EVER WANT TO RETURN TO THIS?

    1. Catherine's Avatar Catherine

      @John Casillo

      Indeed. Why doesn't God just smash this sand castle? Start over a little further from the water's edge and kick troublemakers? Maybe that's too easy?

    2. Rev. Elizabeth's Avatar Rev. Elizabeth

      Mr. Casillo, why would He want to return to this? God is with us and He wants to help the people who got all caught up in evil. These homeless are captured by the Devil. God will return and save us all from evil. They are in their predicament because they blame God for this. He didn’t do that. He gave us choices and one of those choices are “Please help me out of this mess God. In Jesus name I ask you to save me. Most don’t know they can pray for that saving. Evilness, that is what it is all about. God will not intervene unless he is invited. He’s not a pushy God. He’s not a God that will hate you. He loves us all and accepts our will do so want we do. All they have to do is ask God for help in Jesus name. Some were never introduced to God. They are the innocent. Some have been taught but they can’t comprehend what they cannot see. I tried with my mentally challenged brother. He didn’t understand and I prayed to God to please save him for he knows not what he does. He doesn’t understand. He’s a good man, he just doesn’t understand faith and the Holy Trinity. Jesus will return and all of this terribleness will be gone. But, in the meantime we should do what we can to help those who need it. Maybe encourage them to attend church with you. Get them enrolled in a Sunday school class. Be with them so they don’t feel alone. Some of the things I will bring up in my meetings coming up. Smile 😁, it’s contagious. ~Rev. Elizabeth

      1. John Condron's Avatar John Condron

        Don't you think it is "nasty" to claim that "These homeless are captured by the Devil," and that "They are in their predicament because they blame God for this," Rev. Elizabeth? Do you not understand that this constitutes victim-blaming?

        Do you really think it is reasonable to assume that none of the unhoused has ever asked god to intervene? I can tell you, from personal experience with unhoused people, that many have, in fact, invited god to intervene. They are still waiting.

        You said that you, yourself, "prayed to God to please save (your mentally challenged brother) for he knows not what he does." Did god, in fact, intervene? If not, does that mean you didn't use the right words, or your faith wasn't strong enough?

        Smile all you want, but the things you are saying here are just plain mean.

      2. Catherine's Avatar Catherine

        @Rev. Elizabeth

        Found this while looking for floating support services. I'm sure you have done homework and may already be aware of this particular information. If not, here is a great source that will help those you speak with be more on the same page.

        https://www.homelessnesspreventionforum.com/courses/homelessness-prevention-awareness-tool/homelessness-prevention-awareness-tool

        This website has an informational tutorial that is free to all. It explains how Ireland is focusing on prevention. And so far the most straightforward representation - I've found - of how homelessness comes about and can be better managed at the community level.

        Mentioned by someone else on this page, Finland has very effective methods of coping with homelessness. However, their methods are unlikely to serve our politicians and authorities who are more concerned about making money from homeless individuals and families. That is easily noticed by perusing voting records and taking the time to research who benefits from whom. And this is not a left and right or blue or red thing at all, either. All our political parties have had a hand in creating homelessness situations.

        So, that leaves interested and committed communities who want do what they can to keep their communities good places to be.

        Trying to help those who are already homeless is great. However, in the U.S. we are fraught with often absurd challenges. Particularly with rules or guidelines that do not serve homeless individuals well. Obviously there must be rules. However some are... truly 'stupid' in a word. There are too many 'must have seemed like a good idea to someone but who knows why' kind of rules.

        I think small communites as a whole - not only churches - are likely to be most able to successfully focus on prevention which can stem the creation of new homeless individuals and families. Perhaps that depends on the community?

        Also, while a church or group of christians might lead the way and even set the pace, it's important not to ignore help from non-christian sources. Few communities in the U.S. are entirely christian. Help can be found from sometimes surprising sources when minds are open and focused. More specifically, evangelism or using a shelter for the purpose of gathering new church members can be counterproductive and prevent success altogether.

        I mention this because I've seen first hand that many - and I've been one - who are desperate for help will avoid church based assistance because of religous practices. One place I was at in Chicago would not allow anyone to have a meal unless they sat through a mini-sermon and sang hymns. I watched people be turned away because they were tired of being preached at, being called a sinner, etcetera, when they are already down and not feeling well about themselves. That sort of evangelism feels like personal persecution and judging of the worst kind. I don't feel Jesus would set such an example. The Jesus I learned about when I was a child did the right thing without setting conditions. I suppose I'm describing unconditional compassion.

        Floating support in the U.S. can involve triaging to assess risk for homelessness, utility payments, food pantry access, and clothing vouchers, and sometimes relocation by - in the U.S. - domestic violence advocates. Though where needs to be vetted or someone can end up in a worse place. The last women's shelter I was at had a bizarre relationship with a trap house, and women there were allowed to 'do drugs' in the parking lot and so forth. That place was insanity by definition. I left abruptly and went to the next alternative which was like going from a frying pan into a fire for different reasons (think human trafficking and rape victims (women and men - no resources for raped men, btw), drugs, 'damp' facility/allowed to be drunk as long as they didn't drink on premises, severely mentally challenged, plus families with small children and men and women incarcerated for serious crimes... all in the same space). Nonetheless, I've heard some women's shelters are genuinely safe havens and effective with their version of floating support.

    3. John Condron's Avatar John Condron

      First, John Casillo, DON'T SHOUT AT US.

      Second, do you really think that posting on a blog ever "resolved" anything?

  1. Catherine's Avatar Catherine

    @Rev. Elizabeth

    Here: https://streetsensemedia.org/article/how-does-it-feel-to-be-homeless/

    ... might be a good start for discussion.

    Many moving parts contribute to the fast growing number of homeless individuals. It can be reasonably assumed that each homeless individual and family has a unique situation.

    How to address hundreds of thousands of unique situations? For people who have never been homeless, a good springboard is the exercise of imagining being homeless.

    If inclined, each could list what in their life would be affected. Those who are retired, or without a social network, or without family to rely on for short or long term assistance, will be particularly useful. Also, not everyone is able to rely on family or a social network, even when those exist. Sometimes family or a social network catalyzes unavoidable homelessness.

    What most of us commonly rely on.

    • sufficient income
    • good employment if not retired, good fixed income if retired
    • no overwhelming mental or physical challenges
    • no domestic violence
    • no emotional or verbal abuse
    • no sexual abuse

    Any of those can upend a life or family. Like dominoes, too often it only takes one thing to upend the rest. That can occur in an instant or over time. By the time someone becomes homeless, everything that could be counted on, failed.

    Sleeping bags and such are helpful short term. Though it should be considered that homeless means houseless, therefore nowhere to put stuff. Some homeless individuals and families keep a storage unit because all they have left becomes more important than it ever was.

    Have you ever seen discarded clothing or sleeping bags left on sidewalks and benches, or random places? What was given to help short term gets left behind when it doesn't serve survival needs. Being homeless is constantly living in survival mode. Being homeless means EVERYTHING you could rely on, ceases to exist.

    A search online for 'symptoms major depression' will find death, of a loved one, job loss, relocation, pregnancy, accident, etcetera. What I do not find is 'being homeless' which can include any or all of those things.

    That does not imply that someone who is homeless will never recover.

    Also consider much of what greases the U.S. economy is designed obsolescence, whatever form that may take. As that pertains to homelessness, think of lawmakers and other authorities who use homelessness as a political platform and vehicle to increase their status or line pockets. There is a lot of money to be made from keeping homeless individuals, homeless.
    Recently I noticed Mexico, Italy, Portugal, a few places in South America, are integrating programs that receive government funding that pays homeless individuals to train and build their own earthen homes (quite common outside the U.S.).

    Sorting what is permanently effective from what maintains the problem, is a conundrum.

    Part of what keeps homeless individuals and families homeless, is attempting the same efforts while expecting a different result.

    There are a lot of factors to consider. However, it's not all bad. A lot of good people really do want to do something about homelessness.

    The starting line is where the reader lives. A sense of humility - if not for grace there go I - and awareness of what is really going on around us is necessary. Not drowning in that is equally necessary.

    Also, there are few facilities for individuals addicted to drugs and alcohol or gambling, who are not wealthy. Decent facilities for those with mental health challenges also target the wealthy.

    I've seen whole families in a shelter because a parent or child had an extreme mental health challenge or addiction. Not sure how that should be managed.

    Also, to better understand effects of violence and sexual abuse, I strongly recommend, "The Gift Of Fear" by Gavin de Becker. That's a serious eye opener that offers clearly defined and crucial insights about how people can become victimized through no fault of their own. An example is learned behavior, or coping with familial abuse. Unhealthy-minded parents raising children who don't develop healthy coping skills. Or learn to recognize what can hurt them. Mr. de Becker's book helps with learning to overcome victimization which begins with 'stop identifying as a victim'. Learning to think and walk and talk not-like-a-victim.

    There's so much more that could be said, though this has likely become 'too long didn't read'.

    Good luck next week.

  1. Christopher Terrance Jones's Avatar Christopher Terrance Jones

    Yes

  1. Rev. Elizabeth's Avatar Rev. Elizabeth

    I want to say to all that have responded to me…I share what I learn from reading the news and watching my local news. I do not post on here to be mean/cruel, how people have been saying that about me from my original post. We all are putting our 2 cents in on this subject and many of whom have responded to me have been passive aggressive with me. There are too many of you who did not like what I had to say. I can only say what I have learned. I’ve never lived that life. My relative did and unfortunately he has passed so I’m unable to interview him to get a more accurate label for the homeless. I know that if they had their right mind and no addiction and no place to go, they wouldn’t choose this life for themselves. Addiction and no family are the most reasons for homelessness. Not enough pay for a person to afford an apartment and not eligible to buy a house and mentally unstable mind. Hospitals that were designed to help the mentally disabled people failed them and I read they were put on a bus to nowhere. They mainly chose the warmer climates for them. I read this in many articles. No family or friends for the mentally unstable people. They are alone in the world. Those are the people I want to help. I don’t know everyone’s reason to be homeless. My relative’s reason was addiction. No money for an apartment because it all went on his choice of drugs. Cold weather, he would break the law and get arrested so he could be in a warm building and to get fed. He be let out around spring time and he would start all over again. He never detoxed because he could get drugs in jail. His siblings opened their homes. He would rob them and it was the addiction. This addiction also took his life away from us. This is what I know about the homeless. If it doesn’t match your beliefs about homeless, you don’t have to be mean and condescending to me. I was sharing and you all were not so nice. I read others and didn’t post because I was taught “if you have nothing nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

    This is where I get my knowledge of the homeless. I don’t feel everyone who replied to me meant to be passive aggressive and many of you saying I was mean. Stating a fact that I was led to believe is fact, is not being mean intentionally. I said throughout my post that I am working with a local church to see if there is something we can do to get help to the homeless. I care and want to help. Not one of you said kudos for trying. I was told my ideas are not a permanent solution. I never said it was permanent. I was thinking in their immediate needs and work from there. No one gave me “what a great start.”

    I’m not looking for a pat on the back. I could use some guidance and thoughts. One lady did say the same reason as others, she put it down as not long lasting and not solving the problem. Took away, “what a great start” by saying that.

    All you had to say, minus abit 3 of you, were condescending and not trying to encourage a person who wants to help her fellow man.

    This statement I said will get me attacked. I’m getting used to that. We are in the last church of life and this is where Satan is working even harder on God’s children. I always believed the Godly people, Christian’s, were good people and encouraging and are there for their brethren. I read Revelation and what is happening today and on, is what Revelation is saying will happen.

    Say what you want, I’m not going to let any of you dissuade me. It would have been nice to see more than the 3 who were supportive. The fact I say how I feel about my faith in God was even attacked. The fact that I hear God talk to me was even put down.

    Satan is working overtime. One more thing, I am not checking that box to read what people say. I’ve been attacked enough for sharing what I feel and what I’ve learned. I needed to have the last say. I had to share that you weren’t being good Christians. Sad because this site is all about uniting people and all I got was negativity.

    Be well and happy, Rev Elizabeth 🙏🏼

    1. Catherine's Avatar Catherine

      @Rev. Elizabeth

      "...all I got was negativity" is not a fact. Posting in this blog is not about collecting kudos for opinions or ignorance.

      Given your most recent post on Jan 31, 2024 at 09:00 am, it seems your relationship with your religion blinds you to what is truly important. How is that not reasonably concerning?

      Also, should you decide to be better informed about how addictions come to be, you might better understand at least some of what your brother-in-law experienced. Addictions can develop because of struggles to cope with abuse(s), depression, vitamin or mineral deficiencies, and be made worse by the wrong 'help'. Some people are born with addictions and struggle their entire life. Those are only a few reaons.

      If you want to help homeless individuals and families, now you at least comprehend there is a lot you don't know, and only you can address that.

      Though based on your words, it appears you spoke to gain attention and praise for merely talking about helping less capable individuals. That alone is more offensive than what you consider to be negative feedback.

    2. Catherine's Avatar Catherine

      @Rev. Elizabeth

      Afterthought. As much as public discussion might further ignorance, it can be a cure for ignorance. If you do not want to be less ignorant, perhaps you are no different from how you described your brother-in-law as 'not wanting help offered'.

  1. RAYMOND BENITEZ's Avatar RAYMOND BENITEZ

    Grants Available: Ending homelessness requires housing combined with the types of services supported by HHS programs. The delivery of treatment and services to persons experiencing homelessness are included in the activities of many HHS agencies including:

    Administration for Children and Families (ACF) Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Churches are overwhelming with issues and concern. Churches should have access to redirect to the sources available to whomever needs it. Churches needs to partner up with agencies to help address these concerns not take issues they cannot handle.

    1. Catherine's Avatar Catherine

      @RAYMOND BENITEZ

      No doubt a lot of homeless individuals have been served well by those programs. However, 'a lot' is relative, consdering the many thousands of homeless individuals that remain, while their numbers increase. Add refugees who are displacing U.S. citizens who are homeless. Likely because those who take in refugees are paid more.

      I'm unfamiliar with the ACF, however other you listed are mostly self-serving and profit directly or indirectly by keeping people homeless and on medications. I know of none who focus on long term solutions for truly incapable individuals. And there is little effective oversight for shelters the average individual would consider to be thoroughly appaling.

      There is an astounding amount of ignorance about 'who' the homeless are, how they became homeless, and why they remain homeless.

      Given the number of growing homeless individuals and families, it's reasonable to assume none of those agencies are remarkably effective.

      If I spent billions of $ on an endeavor, I would expect far better, and lasting, results.

      1. RAYMOND BENITEZ's Avatar RAYMOND BENITEZ

        Catherine, first familiarize yourself with ACF and its benefits. Secondly. the church need to focus on its local communities to determine what can be done for a long term solution. Churches should have access to redirect to the sources available to whomever needs it. Churches needs to partner up with agencies to help address these concerns not take issues they cannot handle. If there is an astonishing amount of ignorance; familiarize yourself with ACF Programs and educate yourself and the community you serve. Once you have accomplish this task; you will be the example others can follow. It is not reasonable to assume when in fact your not familiar with the ACF and its program. This is not about comments; but about results, people, involvement, and commitment. Are you ready or not. God doesn't work alone. Actions speaks louder with no excuses. Start in your area. Amen.

        1. Catherine's Avatar Catherine

          @RAYMOND BENITEZ

          As long as you push the status quo, the same failures will persist.

          You said nothing about the others mentioned, aside the ACS.

          Regarding: "the church need to focus on its local communities to determine what can be done for a long term solution"

          Churches that are already involved focus on profit margins. Not long term solutions. If churches alone were interested and able to provide long term solutions, churches have had at least decades, if not centuries, to do better.

          As you said, "Actions speaks louder with no excuses. Start in your area."

          Go.

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