Neighborhood ministers have been asked to come to the rescue – as they usually are when things start to look bleak – in helping with the ever-growing homeless population in Jamestown.
Chairman Eddie Sundquist met with more than 60 pastors and religious leaders from all over the city last week to come up with some sort of plan on how the city can collaborate with churches and religious groups to address the requirements of the destitute populace in the city. In light of his discussions with the mayor, the Rev. Luke Fodor from St. Luke’s Episcopal Church said the city is taking a “two-pronged approach” by working with charitable associations, like the Mental Health Association, Southern Tire Environments for Living, and nearby lodging organizations in Jamestown — and by working together with neighborhood churches.
“This is a big problem that needs all of our collective management to address,” Fodor said. “The homework the mayor gave to various faith leaders was to go back to the congregations and just inquire, ‘Can we do something? Can we engage in this? Are we called to act?”
Sundquist is supposed to reconvene with both the congregation leaders and the lodging alliance before long to consider various resolutions for the city’s issue of homelessness. One potential arrangement Fodor thought of with the mayor is modeled after what he saw during his time on Long Island. He said places of worship could open their doors for individuals short-term and give a type of crisis shelter, with meals supplied by the congregation or by other churches nearby.
Fodor said the crisis shelter model would include churches all through the local area cooperating and facilitating individuals on a rotating plan; nonetheless, he recognized that neither the city nor the faith-based local area had at this point settled on a specific program for aiding the destitute populace in Jamestown. Fodor made sense that the issue will immediately turn into a seriously squeezing crisis as the weather conditions changes and winter draws near. He believes it is significant for the city and the religious local area to cooperate to find an answer that doesn’t rotate around temporary lodging in dangerous areas, like motels.
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As a congregation leader of the community, Fodor thinks places of worship have an exceptional calling to help those who are in need or out of luck. He made sense that the Bible urges individuals to serve and focus on their neighbors, which would include the destitute populace.
“I think it’s important to note that homelessness is not a choice,” he said. “It’s something we’re forced into. I think as we see the situation the individual lives of people down there, they’re complex stories.”
Churches Asked To Help With Spike In Homeless Population – Jamestown Post Journal https://t.co/qp1w9MbafM
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Fodor said the mayor has recognized that churches can fundamentally affect the local area by serving the destitute populace and mitigating the ongoing emergency in the city. In the wake of talking with the mayor, he said the mayor has previously seen places of worship helping the destitute populace by giving food and different administrations locally. Subsequently, he believes the mayor’s meeting with the religious local area was generally to decide how the city can assist with planning for the ongoing endeavors of nearby houses of worship.
Another Rev., Mel McGinnis from Kiantone Congregational Church communicated his appreciation for the mayor making the faith-based local area aware of the circumstance of expanded homelessness in Jamestown.
“The normal range of homeless people has significantly increased,” McGinnis said. “This homelessness is manifesting itself, and so has the urgency to do something about it through a coordinated effort with community service organizations and the faith community.“
While McGinnis said the faith-based community’s focus stays on Jesus and spiritual matters, he believes what is going on with the destitute populace offers churches the opportunity to place faith in real life by focusing on those out of luck.
“It correlates,” he said, “because the decline spiritually I feel can manifest itself in ways that we have not seen before, such as the ever-increasing addiction issues, the problems with drugs being so widespread, crime that is getting a stronger foothold, and homelessness is bound up in that as well.”
McGinnis sees the homeless emergency as a lined up with what he portrayed as “spiritual homelessness.” – and it’s true. Many times what is going on in the spiritual realm will manifest in the physical realm.
“Maybe the homelessness that we’re observing in Jamestown cues people into the spiritual homelessness people have throughout the community concerning the church,” he said. “People are disconnected from God and God seeks to connect with them in the body of believers who faithfully proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. I kind of see that visual.”