It’s a rough time for a lot of people, lost jobs, maybe a lost home, maybe just scraping by on the budget. I often stop to think how thankful I am for the circumstances in my life, and wonder if others do too. Everything costs more, and it’s a rough time, but I know how to be frugal, and I can make it work. But for some folks, frugal isn’t enough.
There are many people who are homeless. In the town near me, where I do part of my work, there is a homeless shelter which is doing a fantastic job in a small town with a large homeless population. Carlisle CARES, http://carlislecares.bbnow.org/ operates a day resource center where people can go to get warm, use computers to look for a job, store some food to eat and be out of the elements for a while. Case managers there assist the people in job hunting, apartment hunting, and working thu the maze of forms needed to get services set up for things like Welfare.
And most of all, they just CARE, what an appropriate name for this organization. At night, 12 churches open their doors to 30 people to sleep on mats. Each church hosts the people for a month. Staff volunteers from CARES stay at the churches with them. Numbers are drawn at the day resource center to see who will get in to sleep in the church that night.
One of my clients told me recently that when he was homeless for a while, he gave up his spot in the church several nights because there was a pregnant woman who wasn’t chosen to go to the church when the numbers were drawn. He has a car, and slept in his car, so the pregnant woman wasn’t literally on the street.
Sometimes there are too many people and not enough spots in the churches. People are turned away, and sometimes that’s not individuals; it’s families. This wonderful organization does all that it can, and it’s not enough. And it’s just one little town, and there are more little towns like it.
Today, tomorrow and everyday, as well as Thanksgiving, I’ll be thankful for so many things. Working with the population that I do gives me a look at some reasons to be so thankful because some of our folks have been homeless at times. My work helps to keep me in perspective, and I am thankful for that and for so many other things.