Recently, I came across a newspaper article that discussed New York City’s program to give airplane tickets to certain of its homeless folks, and send them back “home.” As the story explained, many are long-time residents of NYC, but have fallen on hard times. If they can get a relative in their home state or country to agree to accept them, the city will pick up the tab for getting them resettled. I thought it was an intriguing concept. It certainly got me to thinking about Houston and how we address the complicated issues of homelessness here at Star of Hope.
If you have followed my blog, you know that I have had many amazing moments since coming to Star of Hope, and continue to meet wonderful people among our clients. Some of them are families or individuals who can benefit from returning to their hometown, where there are loved ones and friends ready to assist them. In such cases, we work to enable their safe return.
But by and large, we see people who have become homeless here in our city and truly have no place else to go. Even if they had a place, the root causes of their homelessness would still be with them. Without the necessary life change, they would simply be “homeless at heart,” just in a different location.
The lyrics of the current, hit gospel song by Michael English, “I know how hopeless feels, when you’re staring at the bottom of an empty heart,” reflect this need for new life among so many in our society, especially within the homeless community. That’s why Star of Hope is steadfast in its commitment to bringing heart-healing, recovery from addictions, bad relationships and bad choices. We want our graduates to be free of the emptiness they feel, experience the hope that is fundamental to new life and, once again, become independent, productive members of society.
To us, it’s not so much about the CITY they are in, as it is about the CONDITION they are in. Star of Hope works tirelessly every day, to help people have a full heart, a joyful relationship with Jesus Christ and an opportunity to live successfully.
So how do you think Houston is doing, when it comes to managing the challenges that poverty and homelessness present? Express your thoughts by responding to this blog.