With winter knocking on our back door, my thoughts turn to the members of my community who are in need. I cannot imagine not having warm clothes, and a warm bed, to comfort me during cold winter nights. Yet for many people, this is the reality. I think many people have a misconception about the homeless, assuming that they are lazy, or addicts, or mentally ill. And while some of the homeless may have dependency or mental health issues, many many more have simply found themselves in a bad situation. Think about what would happen if all the breadwinners in your home were laid off, and were unable to find new full time work. At first, you might subsist on unemployment benefits, personal budget cutting, and savings accounts. But what happens when all of those resources dry up, and your mortgage payments come due? Sometimes, things happen, and people end up in bad situations. Sometimes, people just need a little help.
There are many wonderful organizations that provide different types of shelter and housing assistance. Among the other wonderful programs they offer, the East End Cooperative Ministry offers a wide variety of housing related assistance, including emergency housing, bridge housing, and special housing support for individuals with dependency and mental health issues. The organization is an interfaith ministry that provides for various needs of the residents in the East End of Pittsburgh. What a worthy organization living out real Christian ideals.
Many people have no idea where they will sleep tonight. Many will be sleeping on the streets, in the cold. So tonight, as you snuggle under your warm covers, take a moment to be thankful.