The Loneliness of Homelessness
Psalm 25:16 – Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.
We have all experienced loneliness from time to time. When thinking about helping the homeless, you often think of giving money, donating items, and so forth, but one of the things you might not think about that hinders overcoming poverty is the loneliness of the homeless.
How would you feel if you were homeless without family, friends, and any real support system?
At The Christian Outreach Center, we provide help in a variety of ways, but one of the main ways we help the homeless is to provide a place and an atmosphere that lets our clients know that they’re not alone.
We offer relationships.
The relational aspects of overcoming poverty is a huge issue. First and foremost, we offer a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. God is in the business of seeking, redeeming, and reconciling people to himself.
Second, we offer Christian community. We offer relationships with our staff and with one another where you can be known, know others, share burdens, celebrate victories, and pray for one another.
Two of the main places we do this is with our two weekly Breakfast/Bible Studies. On Tuesdays, we meet at The Capital Area Alliance for the Homeless One-Stop Drop In Center. On Thursdays, we meet at The Christian Outreach Center on Main Street (pictured).
Just this morning, we heard one man’s testimony of how he came to faith in Jesus Christ. A young woman came for the first time who is new to the homeless community. A man celebrated his difficult path of being given a pair of tennis shoes. It’s not uncommon for people to celebrate milestones of sobriety and being delivered from incarceration.
Sometimes, we get people who are very defensive. They’ll challenge us, speak boldly, say wild things, and maybe even disrupt the group. About 95% of the time, they’re testing the waters. They’re asking unspoken questions – Are you who you say you are? Can I trust you? Do you care about me? Will you help me? Will you love me?
We’ve seen hard hearts melt. We’ve seen tough people who are very “street” break down and cry once they finally let their defenses down.
Relationships are essential in overcoming poverty, and let’s face it, relationships are essential for all of us. If you are interested in volunteering and developing a mentoring relationship with someone in the homeless community in Downtown Baton Rouge, please contact us at 225-377-8582. It will change your life!