The LEMM revisited Mr. Whitfield to once again check up on him. We realized that it’s better, in the long run, to never get so sidetracked trying to serve the masses. Rather, leaving the 99 out of 100 to go after just that 1, is probably more valuable. And that’s what we did today.
Minor facial laceration: This time our team had engaged more with Mr. Whitfield. We found that when we do engage more, there’s a sense of involvement. And, in becoming involved generates a sense of real connection. Both are not only effective in homeless communities, but they are also positive because it builds up trust and self-esteem. This led to the question posed to him regarding additional bruises on his body. A long story lessened, he said that a group of teenagers jumped him. One of them punched him in the face (see bruise on photo), and stole his wallet which had all of his identification inside. When he’d awakened, he was in the hospital. He’s aged 67, a widower, and alone. He said that he had no family, until he subsequently acquiesced saying that he did have a sister who’s estranged. He was comforted and we made sure that he was properly dressed before our departure.
On a better note, he did receive another feet washing treatment (See page 2 of “Our Impact”). In addition and upon his request, his hair washed. He also received a T-shirt with more toiletries. Our visit ended this day in prayer as Mr. Whitfield remained on the bench in the 90 degree humid heat drying out.
Our starter nonprofit is a stopgap crisis-intervention who ensures that our homeless brothers and sisters aren’t alone and socially isolated. We engage with them by getting involved. What we do is more effective than the bureaucratic system’s wait. And this is why we need your support. Please donate today by clicking here on our “Donate Today” page. The photos and videos will reveal what you may have least expected. Thank you generous donors.
Did you know…
Based on a calculation using the most recent data from the U.S. Department of Education and the 2013 U.S. Census, 2.5 million children in America—one in every 30 children—go to sleep without a home of their own each year.
Causes of Child Homelessness:
The major causes of homelessness for children in the U.S. involve both structural and individual factors, including: (1) the nation’s persistently high rates of poverty for families; (2) a lack of affordable housing across the nation; (3) continuing impacts of the Great Recession; (4) racial disparities in homelessness; (5) the challenges of single parenting; and (6) the ways in which traumatic experiences, especially domestic violence, precede and prolong homelessness for families. Together, these factors can push the most vulnerable families out of stable housing onto a path to homelessness (Bassuk, 2010; Bassuk et al., 1996).
The Impact of Homelessness:
Impact of homelessness on the children, especially young children, is devastating and may lead to changes in brain architecture that can interfere with learning, emotional self regulation, cognitive skills, and social relationships. The unrelenting stress experienced by the parents, most of whom are women parenting alone, may contribute to residential instability, unemployment, ineffective parenting, and poor health. The American Institute for Research indicated. . .
Effective responses to child homelessness must include:
• Safe affordable housing.
• Education and employment opportunities.
• Comprehensive needs assessments of all family members.
• Services that incorporate trauma-informed care.
• Attention to identification, prevention, and treatment of major depression in mothers.
• Parenting supports for mothers.
• Research to identify evidence-based programs and services.
Children are resilient and can recover from homelessness, but time is precious in their young lives. Services for children must be provided as soon as families enter emergency shelter or housing so that weeks and months critical to their development are not lost forever. Essential services must follow children into their permanent housing. The federal government has made concerted efforts to reduce homelessness among chronically homeless individuals and veterans, and these efforts have shown significant progress. Children and families have not received the same attention—and their numbers are growing. Without decisive action and the allocation of sufficient resources, the nation will fail to reach the stated federal goal of ending family homelessness by 2020, and child homelessness may result in a permanent Third World in America.
Source: American Institute for Research, “The National Center on Family Homelessness, “America’s Youngest Outcasts,” A Report Card on Child Homelessness 2014
Did you know that “after reaching the age of 18, 20% of children who were in foster care will become instantly homeless? “
Source: Foster Care Statistics & Resources