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Homelessness Isn’t What You May Think

Below are a few real situations and actual stories of people that we personally met last month at the Hope Fest in Prescott. These are real people with real challenges.

Did you know that money is not the only cause of homelessness?

We met a loving grandmother who had money, she wasn’t broke financially, but she was poor in life skills, and was unable to secure housing. I admit, I take for granted the opportunities that were available to me growing up, being taught how to manage a house, shown how to manage my finances, and the skills I learned to take care of myself. There are many people who didn’t have the opportunities to learn basic life skills and now are living in homelessness as a result. This beautiful grandmother’s reason for homelessness is not due to lack of money, but due to lack of life skills.

Did you know that many homeless people have jobs or are employed?

We were also blessed to meet a sweet homeless mother of two. She doesn’t match the typical stereotype of homelessness, she has a job. We incorrectly assume that just because a person is homeless, that they are unemployed and sometimes are ‘lazy’ in searching for work. That isn’t the case in many homeless situations. This young mother works, but the income isn’t enough. Take yourself through the list of expenses required to ‘get on your feet’. A deposit on an apartment, rent, transportation, childcare, and a wardrobe to look ‘professional’ are all necessary expenses in life. Now, try to attack these expenses on entry level pay, no savings account, and having to adjust your available work hours to meet the babysitter’s schedule. The money sadly doesn’t stretch that far.

Did you know homeless people are incredibly resourceful?

We spoke with a homeless father, he and the mother of his young child had been ‘tent camping’ for a while. The tent is not working. They truly don’t want to be sleeping on the ground with back problems, getting up to go to work with wrinkled clothing, having little to no nutritious meals, and having a constant headache. This isn’t how he had planned his life. But they are working to get back on their feet. They are reaching into the community and taking advantage of the resources available to them. They are continuing to live in the tent, driving to work each day, and saving their money to make a better life for the family. Fortunately, this father has a job, did you know it is even harder to get a job if you don’t have an address? No home address doesn’t look well on an application.

 

Did you know shelters and transitional housing options in Prescott can’t handle women and men together?

At the Hope Fest, we spoke to a single mother trying to keep her family together, however with teenage boys, the opportunities of family togetherness are slim to none. The only option they have is the unique opportunity that Agape House offers. Unfortunately, her options are to split the family apart and teen boys can stay with friends, or they can tent camp. The option Agape House offers is a Win – Win. The family stays together and they work to gain stability in their lives.

Did you know that Jesus cares for you?

I recently saw a quote that said “You Will Never Meet Someone That God Doesn’t Love”, there are no truer words. God loves each and every one of us, and we consider it an honor to ‘love’ on his people through the Agape House. Thank you for helping us change lives and keep families together. God Bless.

Do You Need Help?

Do You or Someone You Know Need Help Today? Here are some area resources that specialize in helping people.

Obtain help today. Other area housing resources available:

PASS, 928-778-5933- Women, Children, and Families
YTGRM- 928-443-8779, Women and Children
Project Aware- 928-778-7744, men’s shelter
Stepping Stones, 928-445-HOPE Domestic Violence
U.S. Vets, 928-583-7204, Assists veterans with housing and resources
NazCare, 928-442-9205, mental health & dual diagnosis specialties
House of Hope in PV, 602-390-1542, Housing & Care for Elderly

Other Area Resources:

Salvation Army, 928-778-0150
CCJ: Coalition for Compassion & Justice, 928-445-8382
Catholic Charities, 928-778 2531

Phoenix Area Resources for Families

House of Refuge in Mesa, AZ, 480-988-9242
Phoenix City Mission, Men 602-346-3390  Women: 602-688-6219

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