This series will go into how we can be a generous church during this holiday season. First, we looked at benevolence plans; then we tackle some practical examples of how to help those experiencing homelessness.
CommunityLinC was formed in 1986 as a transitional housing ministry for families – usually moms and kids. Our guest has some practical ways for the church to help their own community.
Types of Homelessness
There are different types of homeless definitions. HUD has a name by list where they see where you are most vulnerable and you are put on a list and they help you manage that vulnerability. Wheras a McKinney-Vento definition is more toward children. These are the kids they might be staying on couches, cars, or in hotels.
How Can the Church Help?
The first step is realizing that there is a need. Being exposed to the need is the key to get started. CommunityLinc, just like Shelter KC, said come by their facility to take a tour and learn more. You may be surprised to hear that Olathe and North Kansas City are the two growing areas of homelessness in Kansas City. Might not be the areas you would’ve thought of if you live around here.
Our guest encourages you to find your passion after you learn about the needs. If you need some ideas, Volunteer Match can match you up with things you may want to do and opportunities in your area.
And remember, many of the people experiencing homelessness have experienced some kind of trauma. So if you go in with that lense, instead of this person ended up here because of the bad choices they made, that is a much more compassionate lense. We are all created in the image of God after all.
There is also a spectrum of wanting help or wanting to make a change. Some people don’t mind being homeless, some don’t know there is help available, and some are seeking a change. There are different shelters that are equipped for different spectrums, and knowing where they can go for each situation could be valuable as well.
How do we make a shift to compassion? That starts with lookin into what your role is in solving homelessness, or whatever your passion may be. Our guest and host bring up that there is a difference between tithes and offerings. While it’s not all about money for our guest – it’s about the heart – there is some margin in the budget; when it’s important to you.
Finally, be willing to engage in the conversation. Take the tour of the facility, join the outreach team at their next halloween party or fourth of july event, and talk to the people in your area who are actually experiencing this issue. That will bring compassion in more than anything else.
Join us next week as we conclude our series: Generosity in the Church with some other non-profit experts in the field.
Special thanks to our guest, Michael Wilson, and our masters of all things Podcasting, Chris and Lauren Miller, for this third episode in our Generosity and the Church series.