Imagine you’re walking down Railroad Avenue. It’s about 6pm and the rain has started coming down. Your shoulders are hunched over with the 40-pound weight of your every known possession in a pack; the wetness is starting to soak through the straps to your shoulders. You see a young family in an eatery savoring hamburgers and sweet potato fries, and when their eyes catch yours through the window, they stop chewing. Their eyes fill with pity before they look away. You’re penniless; and you feel like dirt, for you haven’t seen your own kids in ten years. You continue on and head toward the Mission. You know they’ve been good to you there. However, you read the sign on the door: “I’m sorry, the Mission’s full tonight.” So you walk and walk and walk all through the night. You’ll come back for coffee and oatmeal in the morning.
Though the Mission is mostly full year-round, we totally pack out when the rains come. The numbers are staggering… Whatcom County had a 40% increase in unsheltered homeless this last year. You’ve probably noticed this yourself. There are men, women, and children living in danger on our streets and in our parks, and the Mission hasn’t had enough space to accommodate them. It’s unacceptable. Lives are at stake. My heart can’t rest as long as men, women, and children are in harm’s way and on the streets of Bellingham.
This month, Lighthouse Mission Ministries is opening our daytime Drop-In Center 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to meet this emergency need. To make it work, we need more volunteers, food, and money for mats, utility costs, and staffing. Help us meet this need today. Together, with the Lord’s help, we can make a difference.
Thanksgiving and Christmas are just around the corner. This time of year is especially difficult for our guests who have experienced significant loss in their lives. They must cling to Jesus even more tightly to get through the holidays and maintain their recovery. I thank you for coming alongside those who are hurting this season. Your gifts give them hope!
Yours in Christ,