Don’t Talk About Us; Talk With Us

Family Promise of Lower Bucks County, the organization that will provide temporary shelter for families will debut on April 2 at 10 a.m. at it’s day center location at 578 Main Street, Tullytown, PA. Churches will take turns hosting families each week in the 30 day program to help get families back on their feet. http://www.fplb.org/

In the 30 day program, families will stay at the church in the evening and overnight. They will be taken to day centers each day, where they do their daily routines, look for jobs, get job training, and go to school or work.

The program is designed for people who have undergone hardship and are serious about returning to normal. For the safety and well being of all guests, people will be screened before entering the program and there will be strict rules.

At a recent Family Promise meeting, the speaker encouraged volunteers to interact with quests and act as a mentor.

This is the spirit that needs to blossom towards the homeless community.

It’s good to know that the churches in lower Bucks County are continuing to reach out and help those in need. That’s part of the job God gave the church. Physical, emotional and spiritual needs are something the church, empowered by God, can and should help people with.

One venue where the church is doing God’s work is at the community meals. The hosts sit down with their guest and let them know they care about them, develop relationships and listen to their concerns.

The churches in lower Bucks County are really needed to counter the  judgmental  school of thought towards the homeless, which must have come out of Wottsamatta U., certainly unchristian.

“As the homeless-run organization Picture the Homeless proclaims, ‘Don’t Talk About Us—Talk With Us!’ The homeless must be recognized as people worthy of empathy and respect,” wrote Joanna Laine in NYU Review of Law and Social Change. Right on!

One concern I found among the homeless people I started hanging out with two years ago is that people don’t want to socialize with them but keep them at a distance. Not all people do this. Interesting, it’s  mostly the churches and people of faith who have been showing empathy and respect towards the homeless.

Just as during  the civil rights movement, it’s the true church that will allow the homeless to overcome.

During the civil rights movement, there was a silent majority of whites that didn’t like the way blacks were treated. Dr. Martin Luther King appealed to these righteous people and woke them up, and demonstrated to the world that the status quo had to change. At the same time, he admonished his oppressed brothers and sisters to peacefully protest against the man, and to not, as is the case today, become an unruly, vindictive mob. MLK used the Bible as the argument for his cause. He challenged America to live up to it’s principles.

Likewise, homeless advocates can wake up the community by challenging people, pricking their consciences with scripture. I for one challenge the establishment to live up to it’s standards and show more empathy and respect towards the homeless.

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”, wrote Edmund Burke, and Irish statesman, whose writings influenced the Revolutionary War.

Family Promise is an example of the church shining God’s light on the world.

“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.”

— 1 Timothy 6:17-19