When it comes to how to handle homelessness in the area, there are a variety of different approaches. For example, if you ask a church member, they may have a more “from the heart” perspective. Let’s do something good for this person. If you ask the police force, they may have one that is more focused on how to protect the person, or the public. And non-profits or government agencies or businesses or others will all have their own take. If people come to the table with different perspectives when it comes to homelessness, and are willing to listen to each other, you can find a way to a viable strategy going forward – one that embraces all the different perspectives at the table. We want to find the best in the different approaches and see how they can fit together. Whether a homeless individual or family, that person deserves our best effort and for all to fully embrace them where they are in their life at that point in time.No matter what all of these constituencies come up with, the homeless individual has to be ready and motivated to change. Yes, services are needed to help them get from point A to point B, but it is the individual making the choice to change that will create the lasting impact. To give the best open door, we have to be patient and create environments in which the homeless individual can choose which direction they want to head. It is this key formula: the motivation of the homeless individual + the patience of the people surrounding those individuals (and families) = possible change. So, on our part, we can say, “Hey, I am going to wait for you to get to the point where God has touched your heart and you have the desire to move to the next step.” It comes down to this, there is no single answer for solving homelessness – it is a formula of those helping and those needing help combining in ways that change live. We must love people where they are, and provide prompting, opportunities and an environment that encourages change.
Scott Thurmond Executive Director, Church Volunteer Network
To learn more about Scott and other people who are making a difference in their communities check out Convergence.World