What is Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week?
Each year, Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week is sponsored by the National Coalition for the Homeless to promote awareness, education, and action surrounding hunger and homelessness the week before Thanksgiving. To give you an idea of how many people experience hunger and homelessness, about 43.1 million Americans live below the poverty level, while 549,000 people are homeless on a typical night. Nearly 42 million people are at risk of suffering from hunger, and 1 in 5 children in the U.S. live in poverty. Here in Whatcom County, there are as many as 700 people experiencing homelessness each night, and over 22,000 people in Washington. This is why we do what we do! Our mission is to heal homelessness with Christ’s power and love. The Mission is a friend and resource to those experiencing homelessness, and we strive to meet people where they are, develop relationships, and help people change their lives through our programs.
- Outreach – Street Connect – building trust with people living on the streets, praying, and handing out needed items like socks and blankets, sandwiches and water bottles. Shower Connect – provides over 50 warm showers 3 days a week at different Bellingham locations.
- Drop-In Center – low barrier shelter to stabilize incoming guests, provide services, and introduce them to the power of Christ and a motivational environment.
- Men’s Ascent Program – recovery program that empowers men for long-term success and restoration of the mind, body, and spirit, through stabilization services, skills training, prayer counseling, case management, and more.
- Agape Home – recovery program for women and women with children to equip them with tools for a stable future through case management, emotional/spiritual/community support, life skills classes, childcare, service referrals, and more.
“Many in the Body of Christ bear unimaginable burdens. Jesus always cares – and expresses His care through people. Me, you, us!” Galatians 6:2
A lot goes on here at the Mission! In the past year, we’ve been able to serve 350 nutritious meals per day, shelter up to 250 people at night, and arrange 1,050 medical care visits in collaboration with SeaMar. This is what God’s care looks like through you, our partners here at the Lighthouse Mission!
How You Can Help
In the spirit of Hunger and Homelessness Awareness, here are some easy ways you can continue to help those experiencing homeless, any time:
- Smile or say hello to show respect and dignity
- Engage in a conversation and listen, everyone has a unique story
- Don’t give money, but ask what they need, and help without enabling
- Keep care kits with things like socks, hygiene items, water and healthy food
- Carry public transport tokens and direct someone to the Mission, if you feel comfortable
- Ask to pray with someone, and what they would like prayer for
- Support the Mission through prayer, donations, volunteering, or following our social media and sharing content. It only takes $17 to provide a day of care for one guest of the Lighthouse Mission, and $2.17 to give someone in need a meal at our Thanksgiving feast! Follow this link to donate!