A woman who is homeless sitting on the sidewalk.

What I Wish You Knew About Homelessness

1) Being homeless could take 36 years off your life. (People who have experienced homelessness have an average life expectancy of 42 to 52 years.)
2) Anyone could be at risk of homelessness. (Millions in America live paycheck to paycheck and are at risk of becoming homeless. Sickness, loss of a job, car breaking down, or the death of breadwinner could push many into homelessness.)
3) Domestic violence is a leading cause of homelessness among women.
4) One-quarter of people who are homeless are children.

I wish our community knew that seeking help takes a ton of courage. There is not a one size fits all solution to homelessness.
Bridget Reeves, Associate Executive Director
Every time my family drives past the highway on ramp, my youngest daughter asks me if I am going to help the person holding a sign.  I always reply, “They know where to go if they want help. If they want help, we will help them.”  The hardest and saddest fact is that not everyone is ready to receive grace.  While we wait for these human beings to find out that they can feel loved, we have to meet people where they are if we want to foster trust in God’s Grace.  I hope we are able tools in God’s hands.
Brandon, Past Ascent Program Case Manager
What I wish our community knew about homelessness is that homelessness is not a disease or a curse, it’s not a different species of human being or lesser people. There is no such thing as a “homeless person,” only a person experiencing homelessness, which is essentially the result of a holistically wounded individual whose many and complicated stories of suffering have emerged, often from birth, out of the fight for survival, safety, hope, and belonging and over time have compounded to the point of disrepair and utter loneliness.
Each of these wounded souls is a human being loved deeply by God.  Each is a son or daughter of the Creator and is seen as precious in his sight.  Christ commands us to love our fellow humans experiencing homelessness as we would desire to be loved.  He commands us to invite them into a relationship with the church, God’s family.  This begins with each of us being willing to start a conversation with someone in the position of homelessness, to ask them to share their story, and for us to listen well, with compassion and without judgement.
Aaron, Ascent Program Chaplain
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