Here are a few simple ideas that you can use to help bring our homeless and hurting neighbors in from the cold.
SPREAD THE WORD
Each of Boise Rescue Mission Ministries’ facilities serve meals to our hungry and homeless neighbors every day, even to those who are not staying with us but still need our assistance. Help us spread the word by carrying some of our meal tickets in your glove compartment. These tickets have all of the information a person needs to connect with the Mission’s shelters. They are available for download from BoiseRM.org/media, or you can call 208-343-2389. We would be happy to send them to you.
Help us reach out to those in need by sharing our invitation to everyone to come in from the cold; to warm up and have a good meal at our table and to rest easy for the night.
Once we have provided for these basic needs, we work hard to connect these men, women, and children with the resources they need to address the root causes of their homelessness. Whatever it is that caused them to be homeless, we offer numerous programs to help them recover.
Whatever you decide to do, please remember to take precautions for your safety. The unfortunate truth is that some people living on the street are criminals and fugitives from the law. So be prudent. Stay where other people can see you and don’t take unnecessary risks.
PROVIDE AN ALTERNATIVE
Consider what alternatives you could provide to money. It is a sad truth that, too often, well-intentioned gifts are converted to drugs or alcohol. So think about a small act of kindness that meets an immediate need: a hot cup of coffee on a cold day, a bottle of water, or even bringing carry-out from a restaurant and sharing it with them. You could also provide gloves, socks, tissues, or a granola bar, things that are easy to carry with you and give away.
One of the best ways to get started helping homeless people face to face is to volunteer at one of our shelters. As a volunteer you can learn from those who are already making a significant difference in the lives of our guests on a daily basis, as well having the perfect opportunity to share your talents and encourage the people we serve.
Do you find it true sometimes that the most powerful tool we have at our disposal is the one we are tempted to dismiss as not quite enough? When you encounter someone out in the cold this winter, pray for God’s physical, mental, and spiritual protection over them. And know that your prayers are what God will use to bring many of the broken to Himself.