Obviously people who are homeless need shelter, food, warmth, and personal goods and Jesus views whether we help or not as though we’re doing it to Him. Distributing these items is a meaningful ministry, sharing the love of Christ in tangible ways. However, if we never get beyond the symptoms of homelessness to addressing the causes and real needs, we will do little to solve this problem.
Reasons for Homelessness Point to the Real Needs
Those who lost their jobs, can’t afford health insurance, and the like need help finding employment and paying medical and other bills — need a sense of security.
Those in family crisis (death, divorce, estrangement) need counsel, comfort, and practical assistance — need a sense of perspective.
Those with substance abuse problems need help overcoming their addictions — need a sense of victory.
Those released from prison need help getting back into society, gaining employment, etc. — need a sense of forgiveness.
Those from a foster care background need to know they matter to someone, have someone they can trust, and find help in establishing roots — need a sense of belonging.
Those who are victims of natural disaster need help rebuilding their lives, maybe their homes — need a sense of hope.
Of anybody, shouldn’t we as Christians be able to provide people with that sense of security, perspective, victory, forgiveness, belonging, and hope? Meeting those needs goes beyond the physical realm.