Last night, Matt and I were sitting in our warm, dry, three-bedroom home with indoor plumbing discussing how we need a bigger house.
Excuse me while I tell myself to shut-up.
According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness: “On a single night in January 2014, 578,424 people were experiencing homelessness — meaning they were sleeping outside or in an emergency shelter or transitional housing program.”
More than 500,000 people in the United States are homeless. And that is just a quick glance at our country.
An organization known as HOMELESS WORLD CUP reports: “The last time a global survey was attempted – by the United Nations in 2005 – an estimated 100 million people were homeless worldwide and as many as 1 billion people lacked adequate housing.”
When I first started thinking about writing about this Work of Mercy, I began to think about all the different reasons why a person or family might be homeless. I decided to make this post less about words of inspiration, and more about a call to action. Below are categories of reasons I thought of when I asked myself, “Why are people homeless?”. I ask you to look inside your heart and determine who you feel most compelled to help. Once you discover who most needs you, follow your heart and give a hand.
Why are people homeless?
They are battling addiction – The following organizations help those battling addiction by not only providing shelter, but also assisting with recovery.
- Bethesda Mission is in the Harrisburg, PA area and offers help to men, women and youth.
- Libertae is in a suburb of Philadelphia, PA and helps recovering women reclaim their lives
- The Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Miami, Inc. offers recovering programs and rapid re-housing.
They live in extreme poverty – The following organizations will build houses for those who are completely homeless.
They are escaping domestic abuse
- Project Home – escaping domestic abuse is just one reason Project Home will help “shelter the homeless”. No matter what the reason is, Project Home works to end homelessness and alleviate underlying causes of poverty.
- New House is located in Kansas City, MO and provides immediate and long-term help to women in need. Their website lists immediate needs that include old cell phones, chapstick and hair ties. This is a great way to help if you only have a little to give!
Who cares why, I just want to help!
- Back on My Feet combats homelessness through the power of running, community support, and essential employment and housing resources. As someone who experienced how much running builds confidence and empowers character, I love this organization and signed up for the BOMF 5 Mile Run this morning!
- Catholic Charities – most cities in the U.S. have a Catholic Charities. This link will take you to the Catholic Charities of Denver website. The Archdiocese of Denver has at least four homeless shelters.
Is there an organization that helps the homeless you can recommend volunteering with or could use a donation? Please let us know in the comments!