The city of Seattle declared a state of emergency in 2015 regarding the 10,000+ people experiencing homelessness at the time, which remains today (January 2019 estimate is ~11,100). The factors that lead a person or family into homelessness are complex. As much, if not more, a factor than a person’s material poverty is their relational poverty – a lack of sustained, healthy relationships with others often resulting from and fueled by drug addiction, cycles of violence, and mental health. The men, women, and children who experience homelessness are often treated with transactional humanitarianism or contempt, both which neglect their primary identity as God’s image bearers.
Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, who keeps faith forever; who executes justice for the oppressed, who gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets the prisoners free; the LORD opens the eyes of the blind. The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down; the LORD loves the righteous. The LORD watches over the sojourners; he upholds the widow and the fatherless, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin. (Psalm 146:5-9)
God’s Word is clear that all humans are created in his image, and thereby have dignity, value, and worth. God’s Law is full of commands to care for the poor, the widow, the orphan, and the sojourner – and while “homeless” is not explicitly mentioned, we can easily see the heart of God’s concern for the vulnerable populations applying to our neighbors experiencing homelessness. Christians are called to care for those in need around us, not to earn God’s love, but because we have freely received God’s love. Yet, it can be hard to know how to help in the face of such a large and complex need, when there is more at play than just a roof. That’s why we’ve partnered with Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission (UGM).
UGM is a passionate community of people who follow Christ in his relentless, redeeming love for all people. Their goal is to inspire hope, bring healing, and point people to a new life through Jesus Christ. UGM serves the homeless population of Seattle in numerous ways, providing hot meals and safe shelter, professional services, addiction recovery programs, mental health services, legal services, continuing education, or job training and placement programs. DCC serves as a church partner with UGM and welcomes men, women, and children enrolled with many of UGM’s programs into the life of our body. UGM has many ways that volunteers can serve with them, through single events or regular opportunities.
Source: All Home
If you are interested in some ways you can continue to learn and get involved alongside others in our church, join our Mercy Focus: Homelessness group on Church Center! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.