As the rain came down and the temperatures dropped over this last weekend, my thoughts went to the people that I met on Thanksgiving Day at a wonderful community meal at Doheny State Beach.
How did they fair last night? Did they get wet? Were they cold? What were they going to wake up to this morning?
You see these individuals were homeless and did not have a shelter over their head or if they did, they may have found it in a doorway or under some sort of an awning. The challenging fact is that it is not just the few people I met but there are several thousand people in Orange County that faced the same circumstances last night.
As we began Homeless Awareness Month 30 days ago, I challenged you to see these people as your neighbors and I trust that they are not invisible to you anymore. You have learned that homelessness takes on many forms through the people that are impacted, the circumstances involved and the great organizations that are touching these people in need. I trust that you have been enlightened, encouraged and even acted on what you have read.
When HomeAid was founded 27 years ago, who knew that the story that would unfold would result in hundreds of thousands of lives being given the opportunity to end their homelessness not only here in Orange County but around the country in great cities such as Atlanta, Houston,Portland, Denver and Las Vegas to name a few.
In a few short weeks, HomeAid Orange County’s most current project will be dedicated just in time for four families to be “home for the holidays.” This remodel of this four-plex being done by Taylor Morrison Homes in the City of San Clemente will provide emergency housing for some of the most vulnerable families in our community by providing them with a beautiful new apartment to call home.
I applaud those who have been involved with not only this project but the others completed in 2016 for Miracles for Kids, Illumination Foundation, and Orangewood. However, our important work together in ending homelessness does not end there. It will continue into the New Year as we work with Precious Life Shelter and the start of the important work on the HomeAid Family CareCenter. As a result, by the end of 2017, several thousand more of neighbors will have a safe, warm place to live and call home.
I thank you for all that you do to support the work of HomeAid and our service providers. You are part of this important story with a key role to play and with everyone, HomeAid’s work of ending homelessness through Advocacy, Development and Service is strengthened and truly lives are changed forever.
I am humbled by the opportunity to do what we do together and am truly grateful for your involvement. May each of us continue to play our part well.
We hope that 30 Ways in 30 Days inspired you to take action and find a way YOU can help to End Homelessness. To keep informed of opportunities to get involved click here and to help HomeAid with its mission through Advocacy, Development and Service – donate now.
Twenty-seven (27) years ago, an idea, born out of the building industry, that developing shelters for the homeless should be the charge of those who provide homes in communities and it’s launched into a national movement.
Join HomeAid America and its 17 chapters across our nation, because together, we have the strength, the ability, the knowledge and the power to end homelessness.
I challenged you to see these people as your neighbors and I trust that they are not invisible to you anymore.