Wednesday, October 21, 2015

What Does Jesus Expect Us to do?? LA Times - Mixed feelings greet homeless population at Sylmar strip mall

http://touch.latimes.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-84771159/

As I sat and read this article so many things ran through my mind, but mostly compassion. I wonder where is the compassion? Yes, the author showed some and yet had to also think of the future of her business in the situation.
I am wondering what can be done? Having a basic knowledge of homelessness I do realize that there are those who choose this lifestyle for various reasons. That has to be taken into account when"solving" this homeless crisis. Not every homeless person has the same housing needs just as not every  non-homeless person would be happy in a high-rise, subdivision or on a farm!
There is no one answer to fit all people.
I am wondering if year-round campgrounds specializing in homeless needs could be one answer? Maybe have a church run the campgrounds thereby offering staff for counseling, food distribution (food pantry) and access to limited medical assistance. Through grants this could easily be paid for (plus a nominal fee per week/night for camping there).
Residents at the campground could also earn valuable community service hours by helping with various chores from cleaning outhouses and shower houses to forestry and gardening. This also provides valuable hands-on skill building and the potential for residents to eventually earn certification in forestry, gardening, foraging, first aid hospitality/ campground management!! Skills that could completely change their lives!!

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