Our job is not to end homelessness, but to end hopelessness. Hopelessness looks different in many people: sometimes it looks like self-destruction, sometimes it looks like pulling away and hiding from the world. Hopelessness drives us to do things that don’t make sense and robs us of joy and passion to thrive.
At Open Arms Ministry, we have learned that the love of Jesus can change a person from hopeless to hope-filled; hope to get out of the hole and crawl out of the crack where they have been forgotten. The hopeless need someone who they can reach out to, someone who is there in the middle of the storm.
- Weekly BBQ: This all began when we were going down on Saturday nights and bringing food with us for the homeless. Barbecues are a time to get a bigger group of our family together and to just have some good fun and cut loose. Thursday nights have become a time to see old friends and new faces. It is a time to let old friends know that we are still here and still care, as well as making new friends.
- One-on-one mentorship: Our goal is to come alongside those struggling as they walk through life, and to be there to support them as they navigate through the frustrations and barriers with life on the streets. When someone makes the decision that they want to get out and change their life, we help them make that change so they can start achieving their hopes and dreams.
- Group events: Whether we are taking street youth tubing behind a speed boat, fishing, dirt biking or just going for a hike, group events are great. They provide a chance for youth that we already have relationship with to bring out their friends to a fun event with no awkwardness in doing so. During this times, we hear about their stories filled with hurt and pain, but also their desires and passions. It gives us a wonderful opportunity to share the Hope we find in Jesus.
- Encouraging hope to grow: This is just a glimpse into what we are doing to help end homelessness because it is hard to define and box up hope to just hand out. Hope is often a small seed buried within a person that through time and love is watered and allowed to grow into a blossoming tree.