Seminar Goals and Objectives
Outline I.The Homeless Introduction What must I share with the homeless? Biblical reasons Humanitarian reason Who are the homeless? Names associated with them What are the causes of homelessness? Four stages of homelessness The racial distribution II.
The World of the Homeless Understanding their worldview Their culture What are their languages The methods or ways of reaching them
Introduction: Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but Son of Man has nowhere to lay his headâ€? The gravity of the homeless situation is a fast growing, tough, sad and true reality of life which the body of Christ can no longer deny, ignore, or avoid . It is an urgent need which believers must all address. There is a new, difficult, and rough frontier in urban missions which city churches should seriously consider as they serve as salt and light in this godless generation--as they portray the love, hope and redemption which comes through Christ.
They are seen everywhere in the cities: at the bus station, on street corners, at shopping malls, cafĂŠs, shops, grocery stores as well as at downtown, public places and on the job. Not only that, but their lives are characterized by pain, hurt, rejection, and fear. They are unloved, and even endure discrimination to the point that other cities would forbid them to enter their commercial districts or walk downtown. In Atlanta, Georgia, a homeless person can be arrested for panhandling.
Many years ago the urban poor in American were mainly associated with people living in the inner cities who lack the basic necessities to live a comfortable life . This is absolutely true. However, over the years, this concept has changed with the huge increase of homeless people who not only live in the ally of dilapidated houses of the inner cities, but in the street shelters, and public parks of the cities.
Why should Christians reach out to the homeless? 1. Biblical reasons: a. Because they are sinners (Rom. 3:23) b. Humanitarian reasons
Who are the homeless? The word homeless is a word which is used to describe or define people who donâ€™t have a permanent residence of their own. Cornell School of Law defines homeless as an individual or person who lacks a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence or an individual who has a primary night time residence that is a supervised, publicly or privately operated shelter designed to provide temporary living accommodation ( Cornell Law school-pg. 106)
Common names people call them 1. People of the street 2. Street dwellers 3. Street wanderer 4. Drug addicts 5. Unserious and lazy people 6. Thieves and beggars 7. Con
II. Causes of Homelessness.
Loss of job
Lack of affordable housing
Health Issues (metal illness)
III. Multiple issues confront homeless people A. Difference in age groups 18-35 years old men 16-35 years of age women Single parents with children. B. Low literacy rates Many can’t read and write Don’t have a high school diploma Lack of marketable job skills.
C. Lack of work ethics They are not honest. Few people trust them. They have no real sense of accountablility D. Financially undisciplined Financially irresponsible Lack of budgeting of their finances
E . They are not independent Depend on slate federal funding program survival Local communities social services Religious and non-religious institutions F. Heath issues Suffer from mental illness Open untenable to venomous Transmitted diseases (by sex and needle)
D. Problem with crime (legal issues) Criminal background Unpaid court fees Running from police H. Relationship issue. Disconnected from God Disconnected from friends and families Disconnected from themselves ( Michael Liimatta—Residential recovery course of city vision college 2011)
D. Character Issues •
Suffer from mental illness (They want to have their own way and are not ready to follow anyone elseâ€™s rules or instruction. As a result people who want to help them find it difficult in help them. Therefore, as Christian workers we must attempt to understand their behavior in order to minister to them more effectively.)
The world of the Homeless A. The world of expectation:
Expect sobriety but don’t do things that will keep them clean and sober Expect a free meal - don’t care how it comes Expect free money in order to spend it the way they want Expect an apartment but don’t want to know what it takes to hold an apartment Expect a check at the end of the month to use it to support their addiction Expect hot food and warm shelter and forget to ask how these things are acquired Their entire life has been centered around expectation
B. What are those factors which characterized their world
- Living on the street is a difficult life. To survive daily on the street, it will take you more energy than a man who has to work 8 hours per day at a job. As a homeless person described it, “Life on the street is a living hell.” ---The homeless are caught in a world which is characterized by theism, pain, hurt, rejection, illness, substance abuse, violence, lying, and immorality As we can see from the picture above, they are entangled in such a difficult situation that it takes an extraordinary power to break the shackles, heal the wounds, restore their lives, and human value. It is God alone who can bring about this kind of wholeness.
C. The most common issues among homeless people are:
Drugs Alcohol Mental illness
C. The most common issues among homeless people are :
Four kind of homeless folks Newcomers
The off and on
IV. Four groups of homeless people .
A. New arrivals or newcomers
They are new to the street life
They not know their way around
They are not difficult to reach
B. The off and on homeless
They are back and forth from jail to the street
Winter escapers (leave the street: stay with friends, or go to jail)
In Summer they move out to the street
Many of these folks are on SSI
C. Working homeless
Have have normal jobs
Insufficient income for renting an apartment
Seek roommate or wait for affordable housing
Many of these are recovering addicts
C. Permanent homeless
The street is home
Chronic substance users
For the permanent homeless the street is home. They make no serious effort to break the cycle. They enjoy living on the street as a normal person.
How to reach the Homeless A. Understand the two worlds:
The Christian word
B. What is the Christian world all about?
The world of Homeles s
Comparing the differences Christian
World of the Street
World of peace and Joy in
World of pain and violence World of despair
World of hate World of cheats and cons
the Holy Spirit World of hope World of love World of honesty World of forgiveness World of good work ethics Caring community
World of wanting to get
even No ethics are needed Everyone on is own
1. Cor. 9:19-23 The Christian World
Identification ( The bridge of connection)
The world of the street
Viii. Many ways different organizations are reaching out to them A. Dinner and overnight shelter B. Advocate groups C. Recovery programs D. Work- related recovery program (Salvation Army) E. Residential recovery program F. Preaching and meals (Rescue Mission)
What to know when reaching out to them A.Identify major differences which exist between them. B. How to reach out to them C. How to Identify them D.Know the root causes of their homelessness E. Ask the them whether they need some help