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How to start a homeless ministry

 
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Post How to start a homeless ministry Link
A family we fellow-shipped with started a ministry feeding the homeless in Atlanta. They lived in a suburb. They were from Africa, so they'd make an African rice dish and some chicken, put it in Styrofoam boxes and give it to the homeless on sidewalks and in the park. Other people would come to help, including our family.

We have moved and have started in a much smaller area. We've tried different things. In Atlanta, we've packed up individually wrapped boxes. One of the problems is if you make too many it's a hassle to gather the food together to save again and a waste of Styrofoam. After a while, you can figure out how many you need.

In the large southern town/small city we live near, we found a parking lot near the homeless shelters and soup kitchen where the homeless hang out and where people who want to give stuff drop things off. Other people will drive by and give out food and clothes.

One day, it was raining and we had a lot of Thai green curry turkey she'd made, and gave out 10 plates. We probably could have given out 50. Someone else showed up and said they were going to give out some stew the next day, which was Christmas. Whether because it was Christmas or because the guy giving out stew told the folks to gather to eat and what time, he got a pretty good crowd.

Some of the people living in their cars drove up to the homeless lot on Christmas. I am not sure if it was from hearing the word about the stew being given out, or if they thought there would be cars of people giving out blankets because of Christmas. We may drop by to announce if we will give out food the next day and see if people come out of the neighborhoods, too.
My wife believed the Lord wanted her to take some maternity clothes someone had given her a while back. A pregnant woman dropped by for some coffee. When my wife offered her the clothes, she started crying.

One of the cars was from a family whose 13-year-old son just wanted to give out blankets to the homeless as his Christmas present. His grandmother ran a small Christian TV station. My wife ended up speaking with her and ended up on TV this week.

We have tried filling a large igloo container with hot coffee and filling one with hot chocolate. The latter is more popular, but some people stay away from sugar, too. Water bottles are popular, too. We tried taking instant coffee and powdered hot chocolate one time, and we set up a table, but it sure was messy, with wrappers blowing away in the wind, and the mess on the table. I think we'll mix drinks first.

We may also drive by the day before and tell someone under the bridge what time we will be there the next day.

We have a speaker system and microphone which has allowed for a bit of preaching and singing, too. In the city we live near that has a homeless population, the parking lot is free. No police have hassled us over having a speaker. These things may be a little more complicated in the big city.

Our African friend told us if you are giving away food for the homeless and they ask for a box for a friend, to give it. They cannot store or heat food easily, so they only take what they can eat right then. They may ask for extra water bottles. There was a kind of transition home in Atlanta where people who had recently been homeless were staying, and they would ask for multiple boxes of food. I figured they probably had refrigerators.

McDonald's gift cards are popular. We generally do not give out cash.

If you want to start, find out where the homeless gather. In cities and towns, that might be near a homeless shelter or soup kitchen or under a bridge. We were new to the area, so we just drove near the homeless shelters. Take some food and drinks with you and see how it goes.

Some homeless people are there because of drugs and alcohol. Others are not. There are a lot of believers on the streets, too.

It is not too hard to start. If you live in a rural area, there may not be homeless who are easy to spot and give food too. Maybe going to the poorest trailer park is a way to give to the poor.
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1/1/21 1:06 pm


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Post georgiapath
God bless you, I admire your effort. Hon. Dr. in Acts-celeratology
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1/2/21 7:27 am


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Post Cojak
georgiapath wrote:
God bless you, I admire your effort.


Amen, this is a tough ministry. You can count on lots of Blessings and some disappointments.

they are remembered well and our prayers for anyone who will STEP UP. Cool
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1/2/21 12:11 pm


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Post georgiapath
Didn't mean to post twice.

Last edited by georgiapath on 1/3/21 8:31 am; edited 1 time in total
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1/3/21 8:29 am


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Post georgiapath
I help support one here financially but that is the easy part. I couldn't do the other part, no guts I guess. I would feel too sorry for the people. Hon. Dr. in Acts-celeratology
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1/3/21 8:30 am


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