Mentoring and simple companionship best describe what faithful friends do. Engaging homeless men and women (guests in our programs) in conversation, assisting them in securing essential services (like food and clothing), informing guests about emergency shelter resources or listening to their life stories, can be a first step (or all that’s ever needed) in supporting guests to move in positive new life directions.
Often, when life stories and time are shared, trust builds. Guests begin to share the barriers that keep them from stable housing and self-sufficiency. A common barrier for many guests, is an inability to access social services. While we respect and honor our social service systems, agencies and organizations, we feel that many of our guests are unable to maneuver these systems alone. In these cases, a faithful friend can assist, educate and advocate for a guest to access and receive services.
Helping a struggling, near homeless or recently housed guest with obtaining needed services can sometimes mean the prevention of first time homelessness or a return to homelessness for the people with whom we work. Many social service systems are overwhelmed with need, and some have forgotten to truly honor the importance of compassion and relationship; a Faithful Friend offers a helping hand and can become an enormously important connecting link, connecting the guest to agency services, and other community circles of support.
For more information contact Phyllis Habib at phyllis.habib@tempefirstumc or 480-967-3376.
Tempe First United Methodist Church, 215 E. University Drive, Tempe, Arizona, 85281, 480-967-3376