A few weeks ago, I shared with you that the number of homeless families in Houston has doubled in just the last year. Our family shelter in downtown Houston has been full with overflow every night. This shocking trend appears to be continuing as we move into Fall and the holidays.
During just one recent weekend, ten families came to Star of Hope’s Women and Family Emergency Shelter for food and safety, all on the same afternoon. These four, two-parent families with children, a single dad with his children, and five husband and wife couples spent the night safely with us, bringing our total overflow sleeping on the floor that night up to 115. And that is in addition to all our rooms being full with another 275 people!
The face of homelessness is changing. These “families on the fringe” are living in their cars, in abandoned buildings or with a friend or a relative doubling up. Many of them are victims of the economy. Sooner or later, when they end up at our front door, they find that door is always open.
With no relief in sight, we are planning for the coming months. The holidays are right around the corner and this season we anticipate continued record numbers. We’ll need record amounts of food to serve those who, perhaps for the first time, are not spending these special days in their homes, but “at the home you provide” at Star of Hope.
We are all blessed with the ability to provide a warm meal for our family. Why not start the holiday early and help us provide for a family less fortunate by visiting Ways to Give. The most versatile and effective gift is a financial one. This allows us to purchase needed food items, and this is a gift you can make right now.
As you set your table tonight, think of a setting a place for a homeless family as well, and know that your donation has helped provide them with a nutritious meal too. Thank you for helping us care for these new families!