That leads me to talk about a little organization called Church on the Street.
There are over 12,000 homeless men, women and children in Atlanta. Now hear this- over 2000 are known as long-term or chronically homeless. Church on the Street isn't a homeless shelter that these people have to try to get into at night. They go out into the streets where these homeless people wander and live and build relationships with them. That is what Jesus called us to do- build relationships. The first part of what Church on the Street does is their outreach ministries. Before they even attempt to help these homeless get into shelters and get their life turned around, they begin by just trying to talk to them and minister to them. I'm stealing a quote from their website...
The type of service that is needed by this group is not only basic sustenance, but also, and primarily, due to their engrained isolation, hopelessness and skepticism, consistent relationships with persons who care for their well-being unconditionally, are willing to be with them, and will speak honestly to them.
We don't know much about homeless people. We understand they need food, clothing, shelter, etc. Unfortunately, when it gets past that we are somewhat confused and don't let our mind go there. They are often in dangerous places. They are often what make places dangerous in our minds. They are not always easy to approach and friendly. They have been very isolated and don't have the social skills you or I might have. But, what Jesus taught us through his actions was to go out to the LEAST and the LOST. I'm pretty sure the homeless population fit that description.
The second part of what Church on the Street does is education. We all need to be educated about the homeless. I'm sitting here writing this blog and I know SO LITTLE. What I realize now though is that I do want to learn. I want to figure out what I can do to help to get them out of these situations. In addition to teaching people about the homeless population, they teach people how to reach out to the homeless population. Go check out their website and learn more and figure out how you can help!