Williamsburg's Homeless & Indigent

P.O. Box 366, Lightfoot, VA 23090
Office: 757-561-3255
"Assisting people in re-gaining hope and a better way of life."

Thursday, January 22, 2004

Typically some of our homeless male friends that we work with come to us with broken spirits, lowered self-esteem and hopelessness. Just as Kevin, aka The Homeless Guy, said, "Homelessness isn't about not having a home. It is about not having hope," we find this to be true with our friends here in Williamsburg. So, society, knowing that many who are on the streets have lost hope, find they are more vulnerable and easier to blame for certain situations. If somebody is homeless and sleeps under a bridge and a person is robbed somewhere in the vicinity of the bridge, it must have been the homeless person who committed the crime. If somebody is homeless and sleeps in an alley near a store and the store is broken into; the homeless person had to be the thief. Remember the lady who ran over a homeless man? Who would miss him since he was homeless? And then there was a story on news radio this past summer about homeless people who were being offered a place to stay by a gentleman and it turned out he was raping and killing them. Who would miss them, they were homeless. They were "invisible".

We, as society, tend to find a person to be worthless because they do not have a home. Is this fair and just? Of course not! There are many people in this world who have committed greater sins than people who live on the street: the drug dealer who sells to children, people who physically abuse others/children, those who molest and prey on children, murderers, animal abusers, terrorists, and the list goes on. We see them regularly throughout our weekly activities at work, school, church, grocery stores and passing by on the streets. Many times they are greeted with a smile, a handshake or a hug. Why are so many of us in society able to embrace a person like those mentioned above, but not somebody who is homeless? Because a person's homelessness is public knowledge. Everyone knows who he or she is and, most of the time, how they became homeless.

Lately, people have been asking, "Aren't you afraid to be around them?" or, "It seems you would prefer to be around a homeless person rather than somebody 'normal'. What is wrong with you?" Why should I be afraid? If I should be afraid of the homeless, then I should be afraid of every person I come in contact with, because we ALL have the potential of becoming homeless. And, in today's society, it is just as hard to unlock the skeletons in a "normal" person's closet, so, should I fear each person I meet? If something is wrong with me because I enjoy the company of a homeless person, because we share much in common, versus a person who is "normal," with whom I may have nothing in common; then so be it. But, I also remind you that Jesus was the most famous homeless person, and I enjoy spending time with Him as well. Should I be looked down upon as being weird? The homeless are also God?s people, and because God?s Son was homeless, does it not make sense that, in order to reach out to Him, we must reach out to the people who are homeless? Jesus reaches out to us when our spirits are broken, when we have lost hope or courage, and He offers safety, rest, and peace in His arms. Then should we not offer the same to a person who has lost hope and courage who is weak from lack of food or sleeping outside on these cold nights, who feel worthless because they do not have a home? Remember, Jesus accepts all of us as we are, even when we are sinful.

People ask me often, ?What can I do? I can't buy them a home.? No, many of us can?t do that, but we all can be friends. Sit down with them over a cup of coffee and talk. Show them they are worth our interest, friendship and care. Why not start today by saying "Hi!" with a smile for each person you pass, homeless or not? WE CAN ALL GIVE THEM HOPE!

For those of you who are interested in meeting and spending time with some of the people with whom we are friends, there is a meeting about "Homelessness in Williamsburg" scheduled for Feb. 21st at 2:00 PM. The location is 212 Lightfoot Rd. (our house) in Williamsburg. We invite you to come expand your horizons and learn what you can do to offer hope to this "hopeless" sector of society. Please, call for directions. Hope to see you here!


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