Our mission in partnerships is to be a base for churches across the city, state, and nation in ministering to the less fortunate. We believe that in order for us to become a 24/7 church, we need The Church to partner with us and become the light of the world. When a church partners with us, 3 things are going to happen. First, God is going to change the way you see yourself. You will be used by GOD in a powerful way as He uses you to minister to His people. Second, God is going to change the way you see God. You will come to an understanding that God cares about people who are not on your radar. And third, you will change the way you see others. You will realize that not all people who are homeless are lazy. Many have suffered trauma, addiction, mental illness, imprisonment, and prostitution, among others. You will go back to your church with a new fire for God and people and change your community for the glory of our Father!
One of the things we hear most often from the homeless in our community is how they feel loved and respected, that they matter, and most importantly, they do not feel ashamed when they come through the doors of our church. This has become a crucial cornerstone in how we develop relationships with those we are trying to reach out. Therefore, our first steps in treating homelessness are to develop relationships by establishing and building trust and for those seeking help, to let them know we love them and have their best interest in mind. We begin our relationship building through our many outreach programs such as weekly pancake breakfasts, scheduled showers, drug/addiction recovery bible studies, converting our church into a shelter during the cold winters, and providing them with essentials such as clothing and hygiene products. Once we have begun the steps to treating homelessness, we progress to transitioning.
Once we have developed relationships and have established trust, we begin step two for those who express an interest in wanting more than just hand-outs and a desire for a better, productive life. We encourage and most often see their interest and involvement in the church. What a beautiful sight it is to see the homeless serving the church and other homeless people! As we spend time with them, we are able to grow deeper relationships with each individual which allows us to be instrumental in their spiritual growth and to more effectively assess their individual needs. For example, we might start with helping them obtain missing/lost legal documents required to secure a job, assist them with outside programs such as Veteran’s assistance or work with them to find housing that will take them off the streets. During the transition phase, we continue with encouragement and direction while stirring within them the faith and hope that comes from Christ alone, so that they might focus on Him as the light at the end of the tunnel instead of the dark circumstances they have been accustomed to.
It is our goal by step three that through the love of Christ and the encouragement and assistance of the church, each individual will be equipped with the tools necessary to lead a productive and fulfilling life.