Homelessness is a serious challenge everywhere we look. According to the California Homelessness Statistics as of January 2018, there was an estimated 130,000 people experiencing homelessness throughout Southern California. The homeless in Los Angeles County hovers around 59,000 people and it is reported that in Los Angeles County homelessness has spiked 12 percent since last year (and 16 percent in the City of Los Angeles). There are many reasons that lead to the rise in homelessness, such as mental illness, housing costs, and the lack of jobs, to name just a few. Many people are just one paycheck away from being on the streets, or what is known as “couch surfing.” Both are forms of homelessness.
The Bible says that the poor will be with you always, but does that mean we have to accept it? There are people, institutions and organizations that are trying to do their part. But the situation still seems to be getting worse. In 2017 Measure H was passed to help raise money for this effort and much of the money raised has already gone into programs, but there is still more needed. The question is with all the money that has been raised from different avenues why are things getting worse and not better? When I shared my concerns with one of my friends, he asked if we should focus on helping “the” homeless or “a” homeless person, one at a time? My answer is let’s try and help both.
I think it is important for us to be concerned about the homeless problem as a whole, but I also think that for the majority of us we have to approach it like we do anything else that is monumental in our lives; one step or one person at a time. We can donate money to legitimate organizations that we know are doing the work, but there’s more we can do individually. One of my dear colleagues, Kandee Lewis, Executive Director of The Positive Results Corporation (PRC) is making sure her organization is hands-on in the community to do their part in providing services to the community and the homeless.
The mission of the Positive Results Corporation (PRC) is to address the trauma, violence and abuse people experience. Their goal is to create healthy relationships. They are committed to help reduce violence in our homes and communities and teach people to make positive decisions about their lives. They are currently working with homeless youth and adults by providing workshops that are geared towards facilitating hope, health and healing for those that are vulnerable. They address poverty, conflict, trauma, community and family violence, gang and gun violence, dating, domestic or intimate partner violence, sexual assault and other things that contribute to low self-esteem, self-harm, violence and apathy.
Recently Ms. Lewis asked me if I would be willing to come and teach the importance of forgiveness within the people they serve. I was honored to support the work she is so committed to. One may ask why would people that are or have been homeless care about forgiveness? Forgiveness is a crucial step and tool for anyone to overcome issues in their life whether it is self-forgiveness or the need to forgive others to heal and move forward with their lives. Homelessness is living a life of hell on earth and we must become the angels that can help them improve their lives. Be careful not to judge because you never know what could happen to you, such as an illness, medical bills, loss of a job, the death of a loved one or a host of several other factors that could cause you to be in their shoes. #HelpEndHomelessness
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