My Work Against Homelessness

I have been thinking quite a lot about homelessness (over the last two years especially) and have come to all kinds of conclusions about myself and the things that I (and the church) need to do in order to help people who are in that situation. I have been involved in a few organizations who work with homeless people and met with many people to discuss what I/we should be doing to help.

I finally discovered something very important that I can do right now. I am reading this book called Bent Hope which is a really interesting read. The author is a Youth Worker who works with young people who live on the streets in Toronto. He walks the streets and hangs out with them and helps when he can. He basically just tells the stories of his encounters with people and talks a little bit about what he has learned from them. I am loving it!

So, I know what I am supposed to do to help homelessness. In his book, pretty much everyone he encounters he mentions how they come from a family situation that is very messy...abusive, broken, hurting, manipulative, etc. My conclusion is this. One thing that I can do to fight homelessness is to be a good Father and husband. If my kids grow up in a home that they experience real love, then they will not have to experience homelessness.

My fight against homelessness has taken a bit of a different angle, but I believe it is incredibly important. I realize that this does not solve the whole issue of homelessness, but I know that it could for three little kids that I care a lot about!


Mark said...

Wise words Trevor, thanks for the reminder. I agree with you 100%.

Anonymous said...

your blog brings tears to my eyes. MOM

Anonymous said...

Hey there. Tim Huff here. Though I am down in the USA right now, my assistant who works from Ottawa sends me "google alerts", and your posting came up. Humbled by your kind words, but even more inspired by your response. Be assured - while caring deeply for those already on the margins is vital and of God's own heart - loving those in your midst deeply is the longterm answer. All the best, Tim.

Tiffany said...

The best way to teach is by example. If you instill strong values, compassion and empathy in your kids you will be making the world a better place.

Sometimes we have to balance our obligations and our kids have to come first!

I love the stuff you write about homelessness and some of the ways you have chosen to learn more about it. I am sure you are making a difference in peoples' lives. And you don't have to touch EVERYONE to make it worthwhile.

Jamie Arpin-Ricci said...

Great post. And, in no way taking away from what you have said, we also see in Scripture that we are called to be fathers to the fatherless. That is one thing that has really been driven home for me in our inability to start a family, coupled with our life here in the inner city. We need more fathers like you here too.


roverT said...

Thanks Mark, I appreciate the encouragement.

Mom, stop are embarrassing me (just kidding)

Tim, I never thought the author of the book would have stopped by my blog. I appreciate your words of encouragement. I realize that "loving those in your midst deeply is the longterm answer." However, it is interesting that sometimes this is the most difficult thing to do well. I tend to take them for granted too often. I really liked the way Steve Bell wrote the benediction to the book. I appreciated it because the whole idea of actually seeing people, that is what I sensed throughout the book, and something that I have been striving to do myself. With everyone I encounter, those on the margins, my close friends, the youth I work with, etc. Thank you for taking the time to comment.

Tiffany, thanks for your comments. I agree example is the best way to parent. Thanks for the encouragement.

Jamie, I have been convicted of what you say about being a father to the fatherless. I think what I hoped to say in this post is that I hope to never do any of this sort of thing at the "expense" of my own fatherhood...keeping in mind the fact that I hope to be an example of compassion to my children.

Jamie, I totally agree with you

Jamie Arpin-Ricci said...

I hope my comment didn't come off as a correction. Just sharing my experience as someone who has been unable to be a father (yet). Thanks!


roverT said...

Jamie, it didn't come off as a correction.