Try volunteering to create solutions for social problems
Although I no longer participate in social media (my life is much calmer), I’m told a number of folk are wondering why churches aren’t housing homeless people in our area. While I’m pleased people know churches are places where hungry souls are nurtured, supported and fed, I’m a bit surprised to find they want people to be housed in them too.
I’m also told there’s a lot of finger pointing going on about homelessness in our community. Shelter workers “not doing enough”, folk without shelter using doorways for bathrooms, people self medicating on the streets, people in need of medication acting strangely, fearfully, angrily. People living in fear. People being abused. People having their temporary shelters torn away and dumped in dumpsters. Lots of ‘shouting’ and blaming and accusing on social media. Lots of demands that the walking wounded heal themselves, that the shelter expand its capacity, that folk living without shelter find another place to live without shelter. It’s understandable, we are in crisis.
Churches and shelters and campaigns to drive people living without homes out of our area are not the answer. I know many people living here believe that and are doing all they can to offer support, care and nurture to their neighbours. With or without homes. What about those who are so adept at using social media? Those commentators, photographers and video artists who highlight and call out the misery around us? Those who seem boiling to the point of overflow in outrage and anger. What could they do?
I have a couple of ideas: If you think the church in your area could do more, why not drop in and find out how to help? If you believe the shelter could do more, why not call up the Canadian Mental Health Association and find out what they need? If you think people living with trauma should be cared for and supported why not call up the Health Authority and ask what they need? Best of all, if you think safe, secure, affordable and supported housing should be a basic human right, especially for the working poor, seniors without adequate pensions, folk living with injury, and others you deem ‘deserving’, then why not insist our Federal and Provincial Governments do something besides making announcements?
Why not put your passion and drive to use where it will do the most good? Why not help out in some real, tangible, community building way? Who knows, the life you change might even be your own.