Although I am often reminded of Richmond’s homeless population, when it is below freezing, windy and snowing outside…I am REALLY reminded of them….and my heart breaks. According to the July 2010 research data provided by a local organization, Homeward, that works to prevent and end homelessness:
- 73.9% of adults are males, 25.9% are females, and .2% are transgendered. Most homeless persons are single, never married adults (52.6%). 6.4% are married, and 47.4% of people
- experiencing homelessness are or have been in families, including those who are married, as well as those who are separated, widowed, or divorced.
- 10.9% of homeless persons have children living with them.
- A majority of persons report that they are African-American (60.6%), followed by White (31.6%). 4.1% indicated that they are Hispanic.
- The average age for adults is 43.7 years.
- 54.5% have just a high school education or GED. 22.4% attended some college, and 6.9% have a college degree or higher.
- 18.2% are veterans.
There is a lot of great work currently taking place to meet the needs of the homeless in Richmond at an organizational level. But, I was recently inspired by 2 new friends (Mary and Jordan Niermeyer) this fall. They moved in not too far from me 9 months ago, but I just met them a couple of months ago. Each year Mary and Jordan put together ziploc bags for the homeless, but this year, they opted to invite their friends to join them. In lieu of a housewarming party, they asked their friends to bring items that would help them build a bunch of bags to hand out. These bags consist of a piece of fruit, water bottle, crackers, granola bars, personal items, hand warmers, a couple of sweet treats, etc. In addition, we also included a list of resources for them to use. What a selfless, inspirational act!
So…today…it’s really really cold and snowing…and our homeless friends come to mind. A local church, West End Assembly of God (WEAG), recently gave me 50 bags with similar items…chapstick, crackers, soap, etc. But, I’d like to add a few more items to what is already there. I would love and NEED your help! If you or anyone you know would be interested in contributing, bring your items by the house…stuff a few bags then, take some with you! These are the items that we need (#s vary because we have already received some contributions):
- 50 pairs of gloves
- 45 stocking caps
- 35 pairs of socks (both men and women)
- 50 bottles of water
- 45 hand warmers
Thanks to you for giving! And…special shout out to Mary and Jordan for inspiring me! And to WEAG for getting me started!
Maybe this will inspire you as well! Grab your friends, family, children and make up some bags…and the next time you see a homeless person or someone in need, offer them a smile and a bag. In the Holy Bible, Paul reminds us in Acts 20:35b…
…You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus:
‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’
May you be blessed abundantly as you give! Joy to the World!
If you can supply some of our needs or have questions, please reply below! Thanks!