God cares for the poor and afflicted. The discouraged. The hopeless. That’s where His heart is.
So, we too, will unite to serve a community experiencing some of these circumstances. We see vulnerable women and children, addicted and oppressed, hungry and hurting, living on the streets. In the woods. In shelters around East Texas.
The Church must respond! As followers of Jesus, it’s our greatest responsibility and privilege to step up in this way and love in service the best we can.
We are encouraged in Jeremiah 29:27 to “seek the welfare of our city,” and part of the well-being of East Texas is connected to our homeless. Scripture is clear about God’s redeeming and restoring work in the lives of people and nations, and as followers of Christ we can step into this same work.
The need in this region for this service is evident.
January’s “Point in Time” survey count was 334.
Women and children make up a growing percentage of the local homeless community – over 50 percent.
HiWay 80, PATH, the Salvation Army, and other agencies report overflowing ministry opportunities.
Whole health requires addressing tangible needs as well as the underlying causes of homelessness.
The emptiness that is sometimes caused by homelessness can lead to life-controlling addictions, but no method of temporary pleasure will lead to real happiness and hope. East Texas a surprisingly large homeless population: 500 people are using the Tyler day shelter every day and more than 2,100 individuals stayed at the Tyler shelter last year. The number of women and children requesting services is growing.
How we will help end homelessness:
In partnership with existing ministries and organizations that specialize in providing assistance and solutions for homelessness, we will mobilize churches across East Texas to join in the work.
By developing clear and simple “on-ramps” for people to be educated about the issue and to volunteer in strategic and sustaining ways.
By establishing new church partnerships with local ministries and strengthening existing church partnerships.