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, December 02, 2004

So many of our friends when they came to our home seemed as if their whole world had just crashed down on them or as if they had lost their best friend. With not much to say in the beginning, many would just sit and stare at the TV or fight the tears stuck deep inside them. Who am I referring to? The homeless. But what could be worse than being homeless? Being hopeless. But, with a lot of work, trust, sharing, caring and offering a shoulder to lean on, one could slowly see the sparkle make its way into their eyes. Eyes that once seemed lost in gloom began to shine, monotone voices began to fill with laughter and frowns were turned upside down. Their child-like need for a hug or to hear “I love and care about you” became a daily need like a dose of medicine. Small problems that had become mountains in their lives soon became petty molehills as they regained hope: that little bit of light in a dark tunnel.

When I told everyone the news that we had to shut down, tears built up in each person’s eyes with questions like “What can be so wrong with you helping us?” or “They don’t offer help to us and we find somebody who cares and they take them away from us!” and the inevitable question “Where are we going to go?” Sadly, I started to see the backsliding begin.

But, with all the press and attention from the media for the past year+, there are a few things that were not pointed out about our friends who lived with us. Since March 2002, we have assisted 14 people into homes or apartments whereas they had been living on the street or in their car for a year+. In the past year, 14 people have come to know the Lord through Salvation, 3 people rededicated there life to God, 5 people have been Baptized and 5 people have joined our church, York River Baptist. During UW's "Day of Caring", 9 of the homeless dedicated their day to assist in projects for people in need throughout the community. On Thanksgiving Day, 8 of them gathered to prepare meals and delivered over 80 meals to people in the weekly motels. Each Thursday, several of our friends would hand out food to low-income families that came during our food ministry. And, throughout this time, we all worked together to help one another with each one's problems. It was like having a homeless support group.

Through the years, people have stereotyped those who are titled 'homeless'. I have been stating the fact that the faces of homelessness are changing as my campaign slogan. The homeless aren't scary or to be feared. If anything, they are more scared of you than you should be of them. Such as the 20 month old and 4 year old who stayed with their parents here. They didn't have a drinking or drug problem, their Father became sick and can't work, yet hasn't been able to get disability. They have sought help from every avenue and still can not find a home. Yes, I admit there are a few amongst our community that do have addictions, but does that mean they don't deserve to eat? United Way's slogan this year is 'What Matters'. What matters shouldn't be us, but the focus on those who need to feel they matter.

I do not deny, as the person pointed out in the Last Word, that I have broken rules. That I do admit. From the beginning I have tried to go about obtaining a shelter through the legal avenues, but was denied because the officials didn't want a shelter. But, honestly, what is so wrong in helping people in need? Even in Matthew 25:35-36; 40 For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you took care of Me; I was in prison and you visited Me. "And the King will answer them, 'I assure you: Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.' So how was it, what I was doing wrong? Our intentions was never to house people indefinitely, but to show them hope through God's grace and help assist them back into the community.

I would also like to point out to the person in the Last Word who said "she claims to do this as a ministry" that anyone who reaches out to Christians in the Glory of God, it is a ministry. And a mission is when a Christian reaches out to people who are not yet Christians. But I will pray for you. And as for Linda Hoyle, I forgive you.


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