how to really help the homeless
Got to visit the Los Angeles Mission today, downtown right in the heart of “skid row.” This was undoubtedly a sobering experience, and I think it’s the kind of place I need to go more often to keep myself sober and generous towards others in obvious need.
As one of several social-services providers, I learned how Los Angeles Mission helps a homeless person holistically — by providing food and shelter to those who’d consider going through their restoration program, and by walking along side of each person for a year to equip them with work & life skills plus a spiritual foundation. I was particularly impressed by the quality of their approach to intentionally rehabilitate the desparate lives of so many.
I think Los Angeles Mission has so many great stories to share about what they’re doing, lives that’ve been changed, and how their staff and volunteers is giving hope and healing to so many every year. One way they do that is provide computer training in this amazing computer lab, designed by the likes of a NASA mission control room. I shot this video clip to show you how a well-designed facility can inspire good work :
Through the generosity of donors, Los Angeles Mission has been able to provide more than a soup kitchen or doromitories, though they do that. I’m glad to have had the opportunity to meet good people today who are doing meaningful work and treating people with dignity and care.
And, they’ve also got this practical video, 5 Ways to Help the Homeless. Watch the video for what you should do when you see a panhandler who is asking for money. You can do something. But, don’t give cash.
[update] Homeless advocate Mark Horvath (of www.invisiblepeople.tv) has alerted me that the aforementioned video is offensive, so I’ve removed link to video. This opens the pressing question — how do you really help the homeless?