[Hpn] Re: (hpn) Goldsmith to Homeless: Pray for Food / Your opinion?

Lucinda Houston lucy@efn.org
Mon, 5 Feb 2001 21:10:27 -0800


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At the Eugene Mission, you are required to attend church if you want =
dinner or to spend the night. =20

When I rated shelters/organizations for the homeless, one Night Shelter =
program stood out as treating people with real love, care, and human =
dignity.  They were very real (and pretty darned nice!).  They worked =
with churches to make the program work.  Each participating church =
hosted a number of homeless families for one to two weeks.  By day =
homeless families had the day center for showers/baths, laundry, kicking =
back, fixing/eating food, daycare while making appointments, working, =
etc.., and after 5 PM (throughout the winter), families had the =
sponsoring church for their evening meal, activities, and sleep.  =
Smokers could go out and smoke up until 9 or so until the doors were =
locked.  Each family had their own privacy with either cubicles or rooms =
dividing them off.  We were not required to pray before meals or attend =
services.  The churches were pretty nice hosts and each one had a =
uniqueness about them.  Perhaps it was because our stay was temporary =
that made such a nice relationship.  Neither the hosts or participants =
had a permanent relationship.  Maybe that's the key.  When I had a pest =
problem once, (a sweet little neighbor who couldn't stay away though I =
needed privacy, room, space, freedom) I remember opening the Bible and =
reading "Let thy foot step rarely into thy neighbor's house, lest he =
become wary of you and hate you."  (Proverbs 25:17) =20
The churches I visited seemed to know how to treat people decently and =
with respect.  They did not even attempt to influence us with religion.  =
Interfaith networking I believe they called it.  It worked for me.

The Mission?  They make you go to church (or else).  They make you march =
like little children to the cafeteria.  They impose petty rules and may =
switch them on you without notice.  The Mission is not a church however, =
it is an institution that provides food and shelter and just a little =
rudeness to people.  They have a big cross hanging over their building =
and claim it as their foundation.  The system there is corrupt or =
perhaps the operation is just too big to be personal or of quality.  =
Whatever the combination that makes it rancid.

I am not opposed to faith based organizations receiving funding from the =
government to aid people.  I am opposed to any kind of requirement that =
infringes on our personal freedoms and beliefs.  When I use the word =
"pray" I am simply expressing a thought, an idea.  "Hey, I'll pray for =
you."  "Thanks, man."  It comes from the heart and religion of the heart =
(not man!)  Otherwise, I am just a puppet entertaining human beings that =
have power over me because they are the "have's" and I am one of the =
"have not's" and I am subjective and inequal in rights and dignity for =
it.  It would be oppressive.  Like the Mission.  It is oppressive at =
least to me.

It is new and untested as yet.  If the churches are as cool as the ones =
I visited when homeless, then good (Yay!).  I'm sure there will be some =
sucky ones, but you have to think... it will give (who knows what kind =
of..) competition to the shelters already in place.  Perhaps they need =
some real competition.  If their numbers run low for lack of popularity =
(and they risk losing funding for it), they may need to do some =
changing. ( ! )

Peace & Love,

Lucinda

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<META content=3D"MSHTML 5.00.2314.1000" name=3DGENERATOR></HEAD>
<BODY bgColor=3D#ffffff>
<DIV><FONT size=3D2>At the Eugene Mission, you are required to attend =
church if=20
you want dinner or to spend the night.&nbsp; </FONT></DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=3D2>When I rated shelters/organizations for the =
homeless, one=20
Night Shelter program stood out as treating people with real love, care, =
and=20
human dignity.&nbsp; They were very real (and pretty darned =
nice!).&nbsp; They=20
worked with churches to make the program work.&nbsp; Each participating =
church=20
hosted a number of homeless families for one to two weeks.&nbsp; By day =
homeless=20
families had the day center for showers/baths, laundry, kicking back,=20
fixing/eating food, daycare while making appointments, working, etc..,=20
and&nbsp;after 5 PM (throughout the winter), families had the sponsoring =
church=20
for their evening meal, activities, and sleep.&nbsp; Smokers could go =
out and=20
smoke up until 9&nbsp;or so until the doors were locked.&nbsp; Each =
family had=20
their own privacy with either cubicles or rooms dividing them off.&nbsp; =
We were=20
not required to pray before meals or attend services.&nbsp; The churches =
were=20
pretty nice hosts and each one had a uniqueness about them.&nbsp; =
Perhaps it was=20
because our stay was temporary that made such a nice relationship.&nbsp; =
Neither=20
the hosts or participants had a permanent relationship.&nbsp; Maybe =
that's the=20
key.&nbsp; When I had a pest problem once, (a sweet little neighbor who =
couldn't=20
stay away though I needed privacy, room, space, freedom) I remember =
opening the=20
Bible and reading "Let thy foot step rarely into thy neighbor's house, =
lest he=20
become wary of you and hate you."&nbsp; (Proverbs 25:17)&nbsp; =
</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=3D2>The churches I visited seemed to know how to treat =
people=20
decently and with respect.&nbsp; They did not even attempt to influence =
us with=20
religion.&nbsp; Interfaith networking I believe they called it.&nbsp; It =
worked=20
for me.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=3D2>The Mission?&nbsp; They make you go to church (or =
else).&nbsp;=20
They make you march like little children to the cafeteria.&nbsp; They =
impose=20
petty rules and may switch them on you without notice.&nbsp; The Mission =
is not=20
a church however, it is an institution that provides food and shelter =
and just a=20
little rudeness to people.&nbsp; They have a big cross hanging over =
their=20
building and claim it as their foundation.&nbsp; The system there is =
corrupt or=20
perhaps the operation is just too big to be personal or of =
quality.&nbsp;=20
Whatever the combination that makes it rancid.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=3D2>I am not opposed to faith based organizations =
receiving=20
funding from the government to&nbsp;aid people.&nbsp; I am opposed to =
any kind=20
of requirement that infringes on our personal freedoms and =
beliefs.&nbsp; When I=20
use the word "pray" I am simply expressing a thought, an idea.&nbsp; =
"Hey, I'll=20
pray for you."&nbsp; "Thanks, man."&nbsp; It comes from the heart and =
religion=20
of the heart (not man!)&nbsp; Otherwise, I am just a puppet entertaining =
human=20
beings that have power over me because they are the "have's" and I am =
one of the=20
"have not's" and I am subjective and inequal in rights and dignity for =
it.&nbsp;=20
It would be oppressive.&nbsp; Like the Mission.&nbsp; It is oppressive =
at least=20
to me.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=3D2>It is new and untested as yet.&nbsp; If the churches =
are as=20
cool as the ones I visited when homeless, then good (Yay!).&nbsp; I'm =
sure there=20
will be some sucky ones, but you have to think... it will give (who =
knows what=20
kind of..) competition to the shelters already in place.&nbsp; Perhaps =
they need=20
some real competition.&nbsp; If their numbers run low for lack of =
popularity=20
(and they risk losing funding for it), they may&nbsp;need to do some =
changing. (=20
! )</FONT></DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=3D2>Peace &amp; Love,</FONT></DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=3D2>Lucinda</FONT></DIV></BODY></HTML>

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