The Power of Transformation
How a Haircut Can Restore Confidence for Homeless People
Addressing the Growing Community at Matthew’s Hope
Providing Medical Support to the Homeless Community and Restoring Lives
Mathhew’s Hope Founder Scott Billue
Writers Marc Jablon, Scott Billue, Shelley Bradford
Photography Jon Burket of Imagine Your Marketing
Graphics, Layout and Design Amanda Rivera Rosado of Imagine Your Marketing
611 Business Park Blvd. #101 Winter Garden, FL 34787
Phone: (407) 905-9500
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Matthew’s Hope Chest Store
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Brevard Location 8825 Forrest Ave
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I recently had the opportunity to sit down with two of my favorite people in the world. One being Sherry Easley, and the second being Shannon Diaz. Both are now living amazing lives that only God could have pieced back together. My blessing was, and is, that He chose this reluctant servant to pour His cup out into these two amazing women. I say reluctant servant, because if I’m totally honest, there are times that I have just wanted to throw my hands up and walk away. The constant battle of raising the funds needed, along with the persistent challenge of being second-guessed and criticized for not getting it right or doing it the way others think we should be. Sitting down with two of these incredible human beings made me stop to realize just how blessed my life has been to be called, and to be used as a vessel, for His kingdom sake.
When I started Matthews Hope, coming up on 14 years ago, my real intent at the time was just to help a few local folks out whom I saw in our community that needed to be loved on unconditionally and given a hand up. Fast forward to now we are serving 15 municipalities through locations in Orange and Brevard counties that are now serving hundreds of people a day and I just have to drop to my knees and say thank you. Thank you to each one of our amazing staff who are giving of themselves sacrificially every single day, and believe me, between our time fighting our way through the pandemic, and into this economy, that no one can figure out there have been some rough ones. I want to give thanks for our dedicated volunteers who make what we do possible each day. I want to thank our donors and supporters who understand that to be able to do some of the things we do. We have to pay salaries, big insurance bills, power, bills, mortgages and rents, and the list goes on. You each have provided your time, talents and treasures for the sakes of people you might never know this side of Heaven.
Y’all are crazy! So heres to you… “here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify, or vilify them, but the one thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” - Steve Jobs
“Scott, this is me. This is who I am”. In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy to forget the importance of basic self-care routines. Each day, most of us wake up, brush our teeth, fix our hair, and shower without a second thought. However, for homeless individuals, these seemingly ordinary tasks can be challenging to accomplish-- and the consequences of poor hygiene can hurt their self-image and opportunities. This article explores the life-changing power of a simple haircut for homeless people and how it can spark newfound confidence and hope. Make sure to watch Episode 3 to learn about how a haircut and shave help give our homeless guests the confidence to move forward.
The Value of Hygiene
For the majority of the population, access to clean water and hygiene products is a given. However, for homeless people, these basic resources are often limited or unavailable. According to the World Health Organization, proper hygiene and sanitation are essential factors in preventing diseases such as diarrhea, respiratory infections, and skin conditions, all of which can become serious health concerns for those living on the streets.
Moreover, being able to maintain personal cleanliness has significant effects on mental health. The National Coalition for the Homeless emphasizes that the psychological impact of homelessness can be overwhelming, and the inability to maintain personal hygiene can further exacerbate these mental health struggles.
The Confidence Found in Being Clean
Looking good often equates to feeling good. Having a fresh haircut
and a clean appearance is an essential aspect of building self-esteem and fostering a sense of dignity. For homeless individuals, gaining confidence can significantly improve their chances of reintegration into society, finding employment, and forming relationships.
Additionally, looking presentable can help reduce societal stigma towards homeless people. In a study by Topeka’s Rescue Mission, changing a homeless person’s appearance by merely providing a haircut can lead to less judgment from others, which in turn improves self-worth and personal confidence.
How Haircuts Can Transform Homeless People’s Demeanor
Something as simple as a haircut has the power to entirely change a homeless person’s demeanor. Haircuts can make homeless people feel more approachable and cared for, leading to better chances of receiv-
ing help and support from others. This shift in perception can inspire them to take further steps to improve their situations and prospects. Matthew’s Hope offers free haircuts to its homeless guests.
Remembering to appreciate our ability to take care of ourselves is essential. If you ever find yourself with the opportunity to give back, consider donating travel size hygienic items or your time to organizations like Matthews Hope that work to restore confidence in homeless people. A haircut might seem like a small act of kindness, but its impact on a homeless person’s self-esteem and future can be profound.
Overcoming homelessness is a heart-wrenching and arduous journey for anyone who has experienced it. Despite the stigma and hardships faced, some individuals manage to find the strength and resilience to break free from the chains of homelessness. Shannon, a former guest at Matthew’s Hope, is one such example. Through her story, we aim to shed light on the struggles and experiences of those facing homelessness and underline the importance of community support and organizations like Matthew’s Hope.
Shannon’s Descent into Homelessness
Shannon’s journey into homelessness began with consistent denial fueled by her desire to survive. She would do whatever it took to have a place to sleep, from staying with guys she found to hanging out in cars with people who didn’t have homes themselves. This lifestyle eventually took its toll, leading her down a path of uncertainty and despair as she drifted from one place to another.
Growing up, Shannon’s mother did her best to provide for her family. However, survival skills were ingrained in her from an early age, and she was never taught the importance of education or the consequences of her actions. Skipping school and engaging in reckless activities eventually led her to her homelessness.
When asked about how she felt about her daily life as a homeless mom, Shannon’s response was raw: “To be completely blunt, I had no feelings because I was high out of my mind all the time”.
The Path to Recovery: Matthew’s Hope
Part of the program for homeless guests at Matthew’s Hope is to be completely transparent. You have to disclose your debt. Shannon had multiple medical bills all due to overdosing. She was able to pay off all those debts and move forward. For Shannon, Matthew’s Hope became the vital lifeline she needed to crawl out of the dark abyss of homelessness.
While external support plays a crucial role in recovery, internal resilience and determination to change were essential for Shannon’s journey back to self-sustainability. Her story serves as an inspiration not only to those who face similar struggles but also for the community as a whole to come together and provide support for those in need.
The Role of Community Support and Education
Community support, proper education, and awareness regarding homelessness are fundamental to prevent stories like Shannon’s from repeating. Encouraging children’s education and fostering community involvement in resource and support initiatives, such as Matthew’s Hope, can empower individuals to break the cycle of homelessness and reclaim their lives.
From Despair to Hope
Shannon’s story emphasizes the harsh reality of homelessness and the importance of acknowledging and assisting those who find themselves experiencing it. Organizations like Matthew’s Hope and the community play a vital role in helping individuals like Shannon rebuild their lives and regain control. Through persistence, courage, and the support of organizations like Matthew’s Hope, Shannon was able to turn her life around. Her
story serves as an inspiration and a reminder that, with united efforts and determination, the chains of homelessness can be broken as we all work together to build a brighter, more supportive future. Learn more about Shannon’s story in Episode 8, an inspiration and a reminder that, with united efforts and determination, the chains of homelessness can be broken as we all work together to build a brighter, more supportive future.
Facing the Struggles Together: The Challenges of Single Homeless Mothers with Children
“Our single women are the rock stars” stated Scott Billue. Every mother’s priority is the well-being and safety of her children, and for single mothers, this can mean going above and beyond to shelter and provide for them—often at the cost of their own selfcare. But what about the unique struggles single homeless mothers face? While these challenges are immense, understanding and support from the community can go a long way in helping them overcome these hurdles. Watch Episode 2 to learn more about the sacrifices single homeless mothers make everyday.
The Heavy Burden of Sacrifice
The first and foremost struggle of single homeless mothers is the emotional and physical toll of living without a stable home. To provide their children with the best they can, mothers put their own needs aside, neglecting self-care and personal growth. This can lead to a cycle of sacrificing one’s well-being for the sake of providing for their children, often causing long-term physical and mental health issues.
Systemic Obstacles and Limited Assistance
Access to safe and affordable housing is a major obstacle single homeless mothers face. Programs designed to help homeless families often have rigorous eligibility requirements, long waiting lists, or limited availability. Many single mothers struggle to meet these requirements, be it due to lack of documentation, low-income jobs, or past eviction notices and credit history.
Balancing Parenthood and Employment
Juggling the role of full-time parent and breadwinner is another complex issue for these mothers. Finding an adequate job with
“With understanding and support from the community, these families can overcome adversity and forge a brighter future for both mothers and their children.”
flexible hours that allow for childcare duties is challenging; plus, childcare can be expensive and inaccessible for many. Without a support system in place, single mothers are often left to navigate these issues on their own.
The Impact on Children’s Development
The difficulties faced by homeless single mothers can have both short-term and long-term effects on their children’s overall well-being and development. These children experience elevated risks of physical and mental health issues, including chronic stress, malnutrition, and exposure to violence.
Moreover, the lack of stability extends to schooling, as homeless children often face irregular attendance and difficulties accessing educational resources, resulting in poorer academic performance and a higher likelihood of dropping out.
Building a Supportive Network Together
Awareness of these challenges can help community members offer targeted support for single homeless mothers and their children. Local initiatives to provide affordable, stable housing can go a long way toward alleviating these issues. Additional resources such as childcare assistance, education support systems, and employment services tailored to single mothers can also make a significant difference in their lives.
At the same time, mental health services and self-care programs specifically tailored to homeless mothers can help address their unique stresses and anxieties, allowing them to take better care of their children and rebuild their lives.
The challenges faced by single homeless mothers with children are immense and complicated. However, with understanding and support from the community, these families can overcome adversity and forge a brighter future for both mothers and their children. By recognizing their struggles, we can work together to provide the resources and assistance they desperately need to achieve stability and security.
We’ve all been there - walking down the street, we encounter a homeless person holding a sign asking for help. Our hearts are touched, and we reach into our pockets to offer some spare change, hoping we’re making a difference in their lives. But is this act of charity really helping, or could it be perpetuating a cycle of addiction and dependence? In this article, we’ll explore the potential consequences of giving money to the homeless on the street and introduce an alternative approach to supporting them by donating to Matthew’s Hope.
The Unseen Risks of Handing out Cash
While we may have good intentions when offering money to the homeless, there’s a chance that our spare change is contributing to someone’s addiction. Substance abuse is a prevalent issue among the homeless population, with a 2014 study revealing that around 38% of homeless individuals struggle with alcohol dependency, and 26% abuse other drugs.
By giving money directly to someone who is homeless, we may inadvertently be enabling their addiction and creating a dependence on handouts. Additionally, our donations might not be put to the best use, as individuals without financial management skills may struggle to allocate the money towards their true needs, such as food, shelter, or healthcare.
The Matthew’s Hope Approach: Empowering Independence
Instead of offering money to homeless individuals, a more effective way to support them might be by donating to Matthew’s Hope. Our non-profit organization aims to reintroduce homeless people back into society by teaching them essential skills for self-sufficiency. Through their
programs, individuals learn how to manage money, acquire certifications or licenses, and develop life and career strategies. By focusing on empowerment and self-sufficiency, Matthew’s Hope not only offers immediate aid but also works on long-term strategies to help homeless individuals become independent and reintegrate into society.
How You Can Make a Difference
Next time you’re considering offering money to a homeless person, consider the potential consequences of your donation and think about whether there might be a more effective way to support them. Donating to Matthew’s Hope will ensure that your money goes towards providing vital skills and resources, empowering homeless individuals on their journey towards self-sufficiency and independence.
To learn more about Matthew’s Hope and how you can contribute, visit www.matthewshopeministries.org.
While we may have good intentions when offering money to the homeless, there is a chance that our spare change is contributing to someones addiction.
THE MOVING FORWARD PROGRAM
Since 2010, the Moving Forward Program has evolved to become a multi-faceted list of options from which a guest may choose to engage. The intent is to offer many “levels” of entry that seek to meet a person where they are, yet challenge those who desire more for their life than their present circumstances to move closer to who they may become.
The manila-colored options of “Serving First Time Guests” and “Meeting Basic Needs” are self-explanatory. These options occur within the Tuesdays and Thursdays Ministries Services Day.
The gray-colored options of “Getting Started,” “Showing Effort” and “Working Part-Time” are all opportunities for guests to earn Effort Points that can then be used to obtain items of need. These options also offer a chance for somebody to demonstrate their work ethic and desire to rebuild and repurpose their life, as well as build
self-worth and restore dignity. The “Working Full-Time” option, whether attained in the combination of work external to Matthew’s Hope Ministries or attained entirely through the ministry, opens the door to housing assistance, possibly in one of the ministries’ Transitional Housing units located in Winter Garden, Florida.
The purple-colored options of “Attaining Graduate Assistant” and “Completing the Program” are the final steps to walk alongside a formerly homeless person as they prepare for a life of independence and self-sustainability. No easy task for any person, and a cause for celebration in our shared community!
The key to each of the options of the Matthew’s Hope Ministries Moving Forward Program is choice. Each guest must choose where they desire to be, and be ready, willing and able to work to earn their path--much as is in real life.
“You will get your food the hard way, planting and tilling and harvesting, sweating in the fields from dawn to dusk, until you return to that ground yourself...”
In a world full of uncertainties, it’s not always a smooth journey. At times, life can be challenging, and support from a caring community makes all the difference. Join us as we share Sherry’s inspiring story, from facing immense hardships as a single mother to ultimately finding her purpose and solace at Discovery Church.
Hitting Rock Bottom
Sherry faced a life-altering struggle when her marriage of 30 years ended abruptly. Taking on sole responsibility for her three children, one of whom has disabilities, was overwhelming. Compelled to seek solace in the face of these difficulties, Sherry “ran to a vodka bottle and she stayed in the vodka bottle for 3 years”, which only exacerbated her situation.
Having to leave her home, Sherry and her kids found themselves living in a hotel room. Their days soon grew bleak as they struggled to live in a car when funds to pay for the hotel ran out. Sherry’s resilience was put to the ultimate test during these trying times.
The Turning Point: Finding Refuge at Matthew’s Hope
Desperate, Sherry and her family were introduced to Matthew’s Hope. With the compassionate support of Matthew’s Hope, Sherry worked the program for two years and started her journey back from the abyss. “They loved me back to life, and they gave me my life back”, stated Sherry.
Sherry attributes her survival instincts to early life experiences, as the importance of education and building a strong foundation for her
future weren’t stressed during her upbringing. Sherry’s resilience and determination set the stage for a significant transformation.
A New Chapter: Working at Discovery Church
After taking the steps to regain control of her life, Sherry was given an opportunity to work at Discovery Church. The support she received allowed her to thrive in her newfound role, and the caring community at the church became an essential part of her rehabilitation process. Today, Sherry is an integral part of the church staff, and her journey serves as an inspiring testament of hope and determination.
As a symbol of love and unity, the Discovery Church represents a turning point for individuals like Sherry and many others who face hardships in life. The environment promotes mutual support and understanding, as they strive for a better future together.
Sherry’s journey teaches us the importance of community in overcoming challenges. Her transformation from a struggling single mother to a valuable member of the Discovery Church community showcases the power of love, support, and determination. It is crucial for us to recognize our responsibilities as community members, as our actions can have a lasting impact on the lives of those around us.
Sherry’s story encourages us to channel our struggles into fuel for our growth, which can open up a new chapter for a more fulfilling path. Learn more about Sherry’s story in Episode 6.
DEBUNKING THE MYTH: WHY HOMELESS PEOPLE CAN’T JUST GET A JOB
We’ve all heard people say, heck, maybe we said it ourselves “Why can’t these people just get a job?”. The truth is we wish it were that easy. Homelessness is a complex and deep-rooted issue in today’s society, and the common notion that homeless individuals can “just get a job” is misguided. This oversimplification ignores the various challenges and difficulties faced by the homeless population in obtaining and maintaining employment. In this article, we will explore these challenges and reveal why it’s not as simple as “just getting a job” to break free from homelessness. Make sure to watch Episode 3 on our website.
Unseen Hurdles: Obstacles in Personal Presentation and Documentation
One of the most overlooked aspects of job hunting is maintaining a neat and presentable appearance. While job seekers are typically advised to dress appropriately and be wellgroomed, those struggling with homelessness face a daily struggle in doing so.
-Showers and Hygiene: Homeless individuals often lack access to showers, clean clothes, and basic grooming tools, which can hinder
their ability to present themselves professionally in job interviews.
-Lacking a Home Address: Employers typically require job applicants to provide a home address, an often insurmountable obstacle for homeless people. Lack of a home address can lead to automatic disqualification or create suspicions in the minds of hiring managers.
-Missing Identification: Another critical barrier for homeless job seekers is securing valid identification, which is necessary for obtaining a job. Acquiring a government-issued ID often requires a birth certificate, proof of residency, and funds that may be unattainable for homeless individuals. Additionally, homeless people are at a higher risk of losing their important documents due to theft or displacement.
Mobility Matters: Transportation Obstacles for Homeless Job Seekers
For those experiencing homelessness, the difficulty of physically getting to interviews and potential workplaces poses another significant barrier to employment.
Public transportation can be expensive, especially if the individual must travel to multiple interviews or work across town. Furthermore,
many homeless people face mobility restrictions, physical disabilities, or missed opportunities for interviews due to lack of information access.
Next time you find yourself wondering why a homeless person can’t “just get a job”, remember that there are numerous hurdles they must overcome to pursue employment. As community members, we must acknowledge these challenges and support those in need in any way possible. In essence, Help Us, Help Them, Help Themselves!
If we understand the difficulties people experiencing homelessness face, we will take one small step closer to making the world a more compassionate and supportive place for those in need.
“..remember that there are numerous hurdles they must overcome to pursue employment.”
The Origin of Matthew’s Hope Ministries: A Story of Compassion and Resilience
In 2010, a sudden drop in temperature below 39 degrees sparked a mission of compassion. Pastor Scott Billue, driven by a desire to help the homeless population, reached out to local churches for temporary housing. Despite facing rejection from many, the West Orange Church of Christ emerged as a shining example of generosity, providing a safe haven for those in need.
As the word spread, volunteers from the community rallied to support the cause, lending a hand in maintaining cleanliness and ensuring everyone was fed. But as the weather improved, Pastor Scott and his team could not ignore the continued plight of the homeless in west Orange County.
And so, Matthew’s Hope Ministries was born.
Today, this fully independent, faithbased, and non-profit homeless outreach organization stands as a beacon of hope in Winter Garden. Powered by the unwavering support of the local community, Matthew’s Hope Ministries is dedicated to connecting its guests with the resources and services they desperately need.
Unlike a mere handout, this ministry believes in extending a hand up to lift individuals out of homelessness.
Experience the transformative impact of Matthew’s Hope Ministries as it fulfills its mission to bring light to the lives of the homeless in west Orange County and Brevard County.
THE COMFORT AND SECURITY FOUND IN PANTRY STAPLES
The other day I was talking to one of our staff members that often works in the pantry. She made mention of the fact that it seems our pantry is often stocked with the same items. She made mention of the fact that for most people eating the same thing all the time over and over would get so boring.
Then we talked about how the guests come in and whether there is not an item stocked on the shelves that they are used to seeing, how sad they get. We talked about how interesting
it is to look at our pantry through the guests eyes. For them, it is a security blanket to know they can count on the same, over, and over.
I know our donors see the same pantry items listed again, and again. Spam, single serve pop tops, etc. Hopefully this conversation I was able to have with someone who works in our pantry often will give you some insight into why there is rarely a change in our donation list.
“... the guests come in and whether there is not an item stocked on the shelves that they are used to seeing, how sad they get. “
By Shelley Bradford
IT COULD BE JUST ONE PAYCHECK AWAY
Imagine losing everything: your home, your job, even your support system. While this may seem unimaginable to most of us, the reality is that a significant number of people in our communities face this situation every day, becoming homeless. In this article, we’ll discuss how living without a stable residence is much closer to home than you might think, and explore the importance of supportive organizations like Matthew’s Hope in helping individuals restore their lives. Make sure to watch Episode 4 on our website.
A Harsh Reality: The Thin Line Between Stability and Homelessness
The common assumption about homelessness often portrays the homeless as individuals who have been distant from society for a very long time, are not employed, or can’t manage their finances. However, the truth is that many people are just one serious event away from becoming homeless: an unanticipated medical bill, the sudden loss of a job, or the end of a relationship. Often, it only takes one significant setback to push a family or individual to the edge of homelessness, where they face the challenges of securing
necessary resources, maintaining their dignity, and struggling to regain stability.
In a recent study by the Urban Institute, researchers found that households below the federal poverty line had little or no financial cushion, making them highly susceptible to financial shocks that could lead to homelessness. Given the increased financial stress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, this situation is even more concerning today.
Matthew’s Hope: Restoring Lives, One Person at a Time
Matthew’s Hope understands the importance of treating each homeless individual as more than just a statistic or a label. By providing comprehensive assistance, support, and guidance, they can help rebuild lives deeply affected by the effects of homelessness.
Matthew’s Hope works with people from various walks of life, understanding that homelessness can affect anyone regardless of their past. Through a range of services, including counseling, healthcare, job training, and educational programs, they aim to break the cycle
of homelessness by addressing the root causes and promoting self-sufficiency.
Along with these practical services, we also provide emotional support and encouragement, nurturing the self-esteem and confidence that are vital for individuals to re-integrate into society.
Community Support Matters
Homelessness is not a problem that can be resolved by merely disregarding it or stigmatizing the individuals experiencing it. It is a complex issue that requires compassion, understanding, and community involvement. By being aware of the harsh reality many people face and supporting Matthew’s Hope, we can make a difference in the lives of those who have found themselves without stable housing.
So next time you see someone without a home, remember that they are more than just a label - they’re someone’s tenant, someone’s employee, or someone’s family member, who may be only one paycheck away from securing a better future.
Providing Medical Support to the Homeless Community and Restoring Lives
In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy to take basic necessities for granted. For many individuals, a warm bed, daily meals, and access to healthcare are expected parts of life. But for the homeless population, these fundamental needs are not always met. Among the many struggles homeless individuals face, access to proper medical care is often a glaring issue. That’s where Matthew’s Hope comes in. This outstanding organization works tirelessly to provide the medical care and support needed to give homeless individuals a chance at a healthier and more stable life. In this article, we will explore the valuable services offered by Matthew’s Hope and how your donations can make a significant impact in the lives of people who need it most.
Ensuring Access to Proper Medical Appointments
For someone without a fixed address or reliable transportation, merely getting to a doctor’s appointment can be a significant challenge. Matthew’s Hope provides transportation for homeless individuals to and from all medical appointments, ranging from general checkups to essential specialist visits. This vital service removes a substantial barrier for those seeking medical care, en-
suring that individuals are not left to suffer from untreated ailments.
Prescription Assistance and Compliance Support
Following through with a prescribed treatment regimen is essential for maintaining one’s health, but obtaining the necessary medications and understanding how to take them can be overwhelming for someone living in unstable conditions. Matthew’s Hope works tirelessly to ensure that homeless individuals receive the prescriptions they need and have the support required to follow the prescribed course of treatment. This comprehensive care not only helps to alleviate immediate health concerns but also promotes long-term wellness.
Medical Recovery Spaces for Homeless Individuals
Life-changing medical treatments can be challenging enough without the added stress of not having a stable place to recover. For homeless individuals recently discharged from the hospital, Matthew’s Hope provides safe spaces for them to rest, heal, and receive continued care. This vital support reduces the risk of complications during recovery
and offers an essential opportunity for individuals to focus on regaining their health.
Making a Positive Impact: Your Donations in Action
When you choose to support Matthew’s Hope, you can be confident that your donations are directly impacting the lives of homeless individuals who are in desperate need of medical care. Your contributions go directly to fund services like transportation, prescription assistance, and recovery spaces. By donating to Matthew’s Hope, you are not only providing a lifeline to some of the most vulnerable members of society but also actively participating in transformative change.
The services provided by Matthew’s Hope are invaluable for homeless individuals struggling to access and navigate healthcare in an increasingly complex world. They offer support and care during some of the most difficult times in a person’s life, giving them hope for a healthier future. By raising awareness and donating to this critical cause, you can help restore lives and create a brighter world for those who need it most.
In recent years, chronic homelessness has become an increasingly pressing issue, with most resources being directly allocated to address this long-term aspect of the homeless population. Nevertheless, by redirecting some of these resources towards the freshly new homeless, we can effectively break the cycle and help prevent more people from falling into chronic homelessness. In this article, we will discuss why focusing on the newly homeless is vital in combating homelessness as a whole and bring forth some suggestions on how to prevent further chronic homelessness cases. Watch Episode 4 to learn how Matthew’s Hope is working to break the cycle.
The Importance of Focusing on the New Homeless Population
Contrary to popular belief, the majority of money spent on addressing homelessness is used for managing chronic homelessness. Although this is an essential aspect of the problem, there’s a clear need to refocus some of these resources towards the new homeless. By doing so, we can prevent these individuals from becoming part of the chronic homeless population and ultimately reduce the total number of homeless in our communities.
Focusing on the newly homeless goes beyond simply providing them with shelter; it encompasses a holistic approach that takes mental health, employment opportunities, and other life skills into account. By providing these resources, we empower these individuals to regain their footing and reduce the likelihood of them slipping into chronic homelessness.
Solutions and Strategies for Preventing Chronic Homelessness
Here are some helpful ideas for addressing the needs of the new homeless population:
Early intervention: Providing immediate support is essential for preventing a person from becoming chronically homeless. This can be achieved through mental health counseling, substance abuse treatment, and case management services.
Education and job training: Encouraging self-sustainability is vital when trying to break the cycle of homelessness. Education and job training initiatives can provide new homeless individuals with the necessary skills to find employment, which can then lead to stable housing and a better quality of life.
Community support and involvement: Public awareness and participation in local homeless assistance programs are critical. By supporting these initiatives, community members can help contribute their expertise, resources, and time to aid the newly homeless.
Building a Brighter Future for All
To truly tackle homelessness, we must center our attention and resources on recent homeless cases to prevent them from joining the ranks of the chronically homeless. By implementing early intervention strategies, utilizing the housing-first model, promoting education and job training, and fostering community support, we will not only help those who find themselves in a state of homelessness but also contribute to a stronger and more compassionate community. Together, let us stand up against homelessness and give every individual the chance to lead a stable and fulfilling life.
Together, let us stand up against homelessness and give every individual the chance to lead a stable and fulfilling life.
“People stop me in the streets and congratulate me. “Scott, way to go.” “We’ve seen your growth and that’s fantastic” The reality is that the growth is there because the need continues to grow every year. We should be working our way out of a job” stated Scott Billue.
In recent years, Matthew’s Hope has witnessed exponential growth, broadening its reach and providing essential services to the homeless community like never before. While this expansion is a testament to the service and dedication of those involved in the organization, it also reflects an uncomfortable truth: a rapidly increasing demand for support within the homeless community. It is a bittersweet milestone, but one that must be acknowledged and addressed head-on.
As Christians, we are called upon to serve and protect the most vulnerable
members of our society, and homelessness is a stark reminder of our responsibility. This article will discuss the realities of homeless community’s growing needs, the role of organizations like Matthew’s Hope in alleviating these pressing issues, and why it is vital that we, as a community, strive towards a future where helping the homeless becomes an obsolete vocation.
The Growing Need for Services and Support
The expansion of Matthew’s Hope underscores the harsh reality of homelessness – an issue that has become increasingly prevalent in today’s society, affecting not only individuals but entire families. As the cost of living keeps rising and affordable housing becomes scarce, more and more families find themselves on the brink of homelessness or struggling to make ends meet.
While these families may have never imagined themselves in such a position, life’s unforeseen complications can swiftly change their circumstances. We must confront the uncomfortable reality that growth at Matthew’s Hope signifies an increased need for support within the homeless community. As Christians, we must both embrace our calling to serve those less fortunate and also strive for a future where those services will no longer be needed.
Christmas Carnival- December 16th