To break the cycle of rampant homelessness is a point well taken in “Not Just A One Night Stand; Ministry With The Homeless” by John Flowers and Karen Vannoy.
The authors argue to not just give a temporary fix to those who are homeless, but to associate with the homeless and to help people overcome hurdles to a “normal” life. They argue well that the church can help people better than government programs, where they are not just a number. The churches spend time getting to know the homeless.
This is an issue I discuss in my book “There Are Homeless in Bucks County; A Journey With The Homeless.” https://www.amazon.com/There-Are-Homeless-Buck-County/dp/172865209X/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_1?keywords=there%20are%20homeless%20in%20bucks%20county&qid=1555953133&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmrnull&fbclid=IwAR3aZjxAIaNsBgqDuQOg1FdTQ3fqtanieKU4ZV_6POWqn5w8Gz80_C9Jn5Q
Although the authors argue the point of affectively ministering to the homeless, they kowtow to the mainstream mantra on the issues of alcohol abuse and “mental illness.” They accept, wrongly, the decree of The American Medical Association, which recognized that “alcoholism” is a disease. They write that shelters make their guests pass a breathalyzer test before gaining entry to the shelter, which I think is a good idea. The authors write “The only option for the one who is homeless and suffers from the disease of alcoholism is to sleep outdoors.” They add “American Medical Association recognized that alcoholism is a disease; therefore, we are criminalizing the behavior of someone who suffers from this disease and does not have a home.”
The homeless shelter in Bucks County, PA has become a revolving door for drunks and druggies. Guests get thrown out for drinking, but they come back in again. And again, in some cases.
Flowers and Vannoy argue that one third of any homeless population also suffers from untreated mental illness. First of all, “mental illness” is a misnomer perpetrated by secular psychologists. “Organic malfunctions affecting the brain that are caused by brain damage, tumors, gene inheritance, glandular or chemical disorders validly may be termed mental illnesses. But at the same time a vast number of other human problems have been classified as mental illnesses for which there is no evidence that they have been engendered by disease or illness at all,” wrote Biblical Counseling Movement founder Jay E Adams. In his seminal book, Competent To Counsel, Dr. Adams challenged churches’ practice palming off people with problems to secular psychiatry and psychology.
In the homeless population in Bucks County, which I focus on in my book, from observation over a period of a few years, I’ve concluded that about ten percent of the homeless, and also those in need whom I’ve seen regularly at the shared meals for the homeless and those in need, are really whacked out, and display serious anti-social behavior. We are all flawed; it’s just a matter of degree. The Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung related a story about a visit to an insane asylum with an “intelligent layman” who remarked that the inmates there were just like the rest of us, only their problems were greatly magnified.
Recently, I started drinking Polar brand tonic water. Jokingly, I say I’m drinking “bi-polar tonic water.” Bi-polar is psychobabble for being double minded. Bi polar disorder is a spiritual problem and the way you are brought up fosters this problem:
What those who are homeless need is for Christians to reach out, let them know that they have value as a human being and encouragement and a hand up to get them out of homelessness.