You have probably heard the phrase “slipping through the cracks”.
I work with many women who know exactly how this feels – to feel as if you are falling and falling and don’t know how to stop yourself.
I picture many ministries and government programs as if they are holding out their hands, offering an opportunity for folks to stop falling and catch onto these programs that can help them get back onto stable ground.
And yet, they cannot catch all of those falling through the cracks.
I picture Foundation House as a safety net, saying “You have fallen here – But No Further”.
A young, married couple we have been working with are a prime example. They have been homeless for nearly a year, moving from one motel to another when they had the money, occasionally staying with family or friends but unable to afford to move into a permanent home.
They haven’t qualified for some programs due to a 10-year old conviction on his record. For other programs, they must have at least SOME form of income to qualify. For yet others, they might qualify for the program but they have no transportation to get to appointments and do not have the money for SETHRA. One day, she needed a prescription filled but didn’t have the $1.50 necessary.
Up until recently, they also would not have passed a drug test. But now, they are both proud that they are conquering their addictions.
They are a sweet couple, willing to work hard. They have eagerly participated in the job skills, financial literacy, healthy relationships classes and in private counseling sessions.
Things have been going well for them. They have housing through Family Promise. He started a new job last week. Baby is due in a couple more weeks.
But they are not on their feet yet – looking for a dependable, affordable car, saving for rent, buying the baby and household items they will need. They have a daunting list to accomplish before they can consider themselves stable and independent.
They need a safety net. They need holistic support on multiple fronts – education, encouragement, supplies and physical needs, housing. Several agencies are working together to help get this young family independent.
And that is what is necessary. One organization, one program cannot do it alone. The old adage, “it takes a village to raise a child” comes to mind.
It takes a village of support to raise one family out of poverty and homelessness into stability and security.
What can you do today to help a single, pregnant woman or a young couple? Can you offer a spare bedroom? Can you be a mentor or teach a class? Can you offer transportation to work or appointments?
How can you join the community of support?
How can you be a part of this safety net and say “Here – But No Further”?