How to Help

8 Ways To Help

"Will work for food"
"I just need change for the bus.."
"Can you help a hungry old lady out?"
"Can I bum a smoke?"

We have all experienced this at least once. Do you remember the last time you encountered a homeless person?

How did you react? Did you look away? Did you ignore them as if they were invisible? Or worse, did you say something hurtful like "...get a job."?

It's difficult to come face-to-face with such profound suffering and not have a strong reaction. With every homeless person you encounter, understand that there is most likely a very long and sad story. Nobody wakes up one morning and decides to be homeless. You just are.

Here are some recommendations for next time you encounter a homeless individual:

  1. Be safe.
    Malnutrition, exposure to the elements, street violence, lack of medical care, and poor hygiene take their toll on homeless people. Trust your instincts and don't take chances. If you encounter and individual you believe to be dangerous, homeless or not, please make every attempt to avoid contact. If you believe that a person is in need of immediate emergency attention, please call 911.
  2. Recognize that all homeless people are not alike.
    Homelessness does not discriminate. The homeless are often comprised of children, battered women, veterans, the mentally ill, and abusers of drugs & alcohol. Many are innocent victims of domestic violence.
  3. Share God's love.
    "What Would Jesus Do?" If Jesus were here today, he would reach out to homeless people. Those who believe in and follow Him should do the same.
  4. Be respectful.
    By taking the time to be friendly, you help homeless people combat the belief that they're disposable. Show compassion.
  5. Don't give cash.
    Too often this money goes toward drugs or alcohol. If a homeless person is in need of basic necessities, refer them to the Open Door Mission or another emergency shelter in the area.
  6. Don't provide your own housing. Point the way to the Open Door Mission.
    The Open Door Mission provides emergency food and shelter at Samaritan House Recuse Center & Shelter (210 West Main St.) and a long-term rehabilitation through the Christian Life Recovery Program at the Caring Center (156 North Plymouth Ave.) You can also offer a homeless person a MEAL & SHELTER VOUCHER, which you can obtain, free, from the Open Door Mission Caring Center.
  7. Support the Open Door Mission.
    The Open Door Mission is supported by caring individuals, churches, businesses and civic groups. Learn how you can help as a volunteer or to become a regular financial partner today.
  8. Pray.
    The simplest and easiest way to help the homeless is to constantly keep them in your prayers. The next time you encounter a homeless individual, pray for them, your prayers may be the only "blanket" to keep them warm.

Praise & Prayer Requests

We thank you for your desire to join with us regularly in our prayers to God regarding every area of service at Open Door Mission.

Praise:

  • God's continued provision for the Mission through our faithful donors and volunteers.
  • God's help as we serve homeless and needy men, women and families every day.
  • Praise to God for the life-changing victories among our Mission guests and Christian Life Recovery Program students.

Prayer Requests:

Pray for all the homeless individuals who experience depression and hopelessness because of separation from family and friends each day.

  • Pray that our Mission guests will find hope and victory over bad choices and addictions through the power of Jesus in their lives.
  • Pray for God's wisdom for the Mission Board and leadership as they continue to seek out ways to improve and expand on existing services.
  • Pray for God to lead the poor families who battle hunger and poverty and find their way to the Mission for needed food and assistance.
  • Pray for God's protection and good physical health for the Mission staff as they work long hours to provide for extra needs during these difficult times in our economy.
  • Pray for mothers and their children who are in need of clothing and food today. Pray for God's hand of protection over them and pray with urgency that we might soon be able to help improve their situation, their outlook and their relationship with the Lord our God.

It would be helpful if you let us know if there are any groups with whom you are sharing these needs. Any information you provide will only be used to keep our expanding prayer network updated. If you indicate a desire to pray for urgent Mission needs, we would be happy to email you with updates on specific events and needs as they arise. Thank you for your prayers!

If you have any urgent needs that we can be praying for in our devotional time, please email them to our Executive Director, Michael Hennessy.