Each year the National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week (HHAW) is held the week before Thanksgiving. This year the homeless awareness week begins on Veterans Day, November 11, and runs through November 19. This is a stark reminder of the many, too many, brave men and women who served their country and are now counted among the hungry homeless in our hometowns.
Thankfully, HUD-VASH (Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing) has programs in place to assist these veterans with rental assistance, case management, and clinical services all provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
In addition, the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans (NCHV) is a resource assistance center for a national network of community-based service providers that provide emergency and supportive housing, food, health services, job training and placement assistance, legal aid and case management support for hundreds of thousands of homeless veterans each year. https://nvf.org/women-veteran-resources/
According to a HUD report of January 2016, one in five people experiencing homelessness had a serious mental illness, and a similar percentage had a chronic substance use disorder. However, efforts to combat homelessness are having an impact, particularly among veterans and people experiencing chronic homelessness.
HHAW wants to remind us that Homelessness-Houselessness is not a crime! Their focus is helping the homeless, and that includes the brave vets who sometimes call a cardboard box, “Home.”
Question is, what are we willing to do to help the least of our brothers and sisters?
. . . For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, “Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!” and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you? Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense? (James 2:16-17MSG).