Tami Miller is one of my heroes. Singlehandedly, she has helped to start a movement and has helped to change the debate in Madison. For more about her and her efforts, visit Feeding the State Street Family.
She commented on a previous post of mine. I’m putting it up here to make sure people see it. Her fundamental question is: “What should we do?”
What can we do- as ordinary, “regular” people to help our homeless neighbors- right now in practical and useful ways? Our weekly food run has been hit with bigger crowds than ever-we keep running out of food- I have been told that Savory Sunday has also been running out of food- our Midnight run takes less than 30 minutes to hand out supplies for 100 people living outdoors…I now have 42 remote camping sites that I visit— it feels like the economy and the circumstances here in Madison are causing a swelling in the numbers of those who are homeless… yet growth for services is slow paced, and often argued against and it just can’t keep up… no one wants a 24-7 day center in their neighborhood… and homeless people are dying out here (5 deaths in the past months). It scares me.I am frightened for my homeless family. I know that we are doing God’s work, but the problems seem so overwhelming Father. I pray each day for my homeless brothers and sisters- I pray for God to give us direction, to give me direction- I give it back to Him because this is HIS thing. I wish I could hear an audible response to that prayer…
My heart breaks to see the desperation and the fear. To see people hungry, cold or overheated, sick with little healthcare and no medicine, addicted with no available treatment beds or turned away from detox, mentally ill with no treatment, injured, spat on, raped or beaten because of who they are and how they have to live. I am just a farm kid Father, I feel like I have no answers…I want…so much to make things better, and to have those who control the money, and who have the power those who look down on people with less to see my homeless family through my eyes, or far better- through God’s eyes. What do we do? How do we Pray? How can we be better, do better than we are? Right here, right now??? I ask this earnestly, and with hope… How do we become a city and a people that puts our fellow human being’s basic needs first?
I’ll offer my response when I’ve had more time to think about it.
In my experience problem solving efforts need to be less focused on ideas or ideals you may wish to instruct to the homeless while you are giving them their physical needs and more focused on secular concerns, like how to pull something out of nothing. Come on over to my blog and get some straight talk.