Parishioners may wonder what their churches can do to help the homeless, other than to raise funds or to donate food to a shelter.
Bridge of Hope, organized through Evangelicals for Social Action, offers another option -- adopt one homeless family, and personally help pave the way toward permanent solutions through stable housing, gainful employment, personal growth and positive friendships. "It can be daunting to consider the needs of all homeless families in the United States," acknowledges Edith Yoder, Bridge of Hope national director.
But then, notes Yoder, the number of churches also is large. "If each church reaches out to one homeless family, one by one we can make a difference," Yoder says. Bridge of Hope provides professional training for churches, or combinations of churches, to operate their own support projects.
So far, Bridge of Hope supports 17 local affiliates in seven states through Evangelicals for Social Acton, which also publishes PRISM magazine in the spirit of the Bible's Numbers 13: 19, 20; What kind of land do they live in? Is it good or bad? ... How is the soul? Is it fertile or poor? Are there trees in it or not? Do your best to bring back some of the fruit of the land."