We here at HMA have many programs that we do year round for the ultra poor in America. Around the holidays we do some special things just for November and December. We always have a Thanksgiving for the homeless dinner and service, a Christmas for the homeless dinner and service and special blanket and coat drives as well as other things. Note: just to give you an idea, last year we had 465 people in our Christmas for the homeless service.
This year things are very different on the streets of America. Normally, our church services, rides, meals, clothing banks, food banks, job training programs etc. are the best things that we can do outside of love, prayer, correction and instruction. But for the past several months I have found a brand new group of people on the streets that we have never worked with before. I call them the "barely homeless". They are not the run of the mill drunks, drug addicts, prostitutes and gang members that we are used to working with. These people had houses, cars and jobs just a few months ago. As a matter of fact, most of them still do have jobs.
You see, what has happened, is as the economy shrinks then it knocks everyone down a notch or two. If you were a multi-millionaire, now maybe you are just a millionaire. If you were living high one the hog, maybe now you are just comfortable. If you used to be just comfortable, perhaps now you have had to tighten the belt. You see my point. Well, the people that were some of the poorest of the regular Joes amongst us have been knocked down a notch as well. And now, they are barely homeless.
Most of these people are couples with children. A lot of them had their house foreclosed and they spent every dime trying to stop it from happening and now they are trying to live in a shelter or under a bridge for just a few months to make enough money to get an apartment. Lots of them actually have jobs waiting for them. I know a man that has a job making $14.10 an hour waiting for him. The job is over two hundred miles away and he has no way of getting to it. I know several who have jobs waiting for them and all they need is a $10.00 identification card or a $45.00 certificate. You may be saying, "then why don't you help them?" We are as fast as we can. Just last week we got four more identification cards and two more certificates. The problem is, right now I am working with twenty six of these guys and we find more every week. If all each one needed was an I.D. that would still be $260.00. But oh, it would be worth it.
The average person in the barely homeless category that I am working with needs about $75.00 to get a chance at putting their life back together. Of course our government will spend an average of $8,500.00 a piece on them, of our money, and it will take them way to long and by that time a lot of them WILL be alcoholics, drug addicts, prostitutes and gang members. For this CHRIST-mas season we are going to try a brand new approach. We are going to specifically target the ones that are in this condition and try to bump them back up into society. What greater CHRIST-mas gift could we give these people than another chance at having their entire lives back.
We are not talking about just randomly picking people off the street either. We are talking about picking out the ones that are working or trying to work, going to church, putting forth real effort, have children, etc.
I am sure that we are going to do much of the things for the holidays that we have done in the past, but my office is specifically going to target as many of these people as we can, I personally know of more than one hundred people that fit this group just in the greater Tulsa area alone. I think last year we raised, all together, around seven to eight thousand dollars that was spent on new coats, hats, gloves, bibles, etc. But besides everything that we are already doing, we are going to try to "save some early". I believe that this is one way for sure to show a lot of people that the Love of Christ is real, functioning and applicable to their lives.
My goal is to raise around $10,000.00 and use it between the dates of November 15th and December 15th. I already have between 3 and 4 thousand dollars promised. If you can give please do. If you know someone who might give, please ask them on our behalf. Your spouse, parents, grandparents, friends, co-workers, bosses, local businesses, churches. Don't be ashamed to send in any amount. Remember, just $10.00 could make all the difference in the world for one. If we all stick together and give what we can, it will change lives! We are a 501c3 federal non-profit, all gifts are tax deductible and we are a corporation, with a staff, a board of directors and we are subject to regular audits. If you don't know us please check our website and call around and check up on us.
You may share this blog electronically, on paper, verbally anyway you so choose as much as possible for the next few weeks, as a matter of fact I encourage you too. Can you imagine if you were one of these. Let's see if we can make a difference. With God's help, I know we can.
You can mail donations to HMA PO box 12 Sapulpa, OK 74067, or you can donate online by clicking the donate button at the top of my blog or at the top of our website's home page. If you send in a check you can write the words "save some early" in the memo notes and all online donations will go to this project at least until November 15th. Thank you and God bless.
Your humble servant,