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Be the Change

Don't give change... Be the Change!

Be the ChangeIts time that we don't just give change but we need to Be The Change. Mahatma Gandhi gave the call for us to be the change that we want to see in the world. It is time for us to step into the role that God calls us to be. One of my favorite Pastors says Be the thermostat not the thermometer. In other words we need to set the temperature around us. The call is for us to do that in our community. We can change the face of Houston one person at a time if we just make a difference in the world where we live. So instead of handing $5 out the window to a panhandler why not give $11 to an organization that can use it to get an ID for someone wanting to get a job and get off the streets. I have spent the last 6 years working with the homeless and if $5 was going to change a life it would have by now. But, it has been my experience that purchasing an ID for $11 has changed many lives. Once you can identify yourself the possibilities are endless what you can do. So join us in being the change!

Here is some of the back story behind my passion for helping the homeless. Oct 1 2015 I quit my job in the secular world to serve full- time in ministry with H.O.P.E. Haven. Our continued growth has been thanks to God’s vision and empowerment. He has used the words and actions of others to demonstrate His grace to me when I’ve needed it most. When this process has brought me to my knees, He always shows up in a mighty way. With His help, we’ve assembled a board of directors, an advisory board, a business plan, and have received 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit status. In addition, we’ve established partnerships with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office’s Homeless Outreach Team (HOT), 25 organizations across the city, and over 15 churches in our community.

Connecting with HOT has been a particular highlight of this journey. One Wednesday evening in October, I began looking for a van to transport our clients. The next morning, the Sheriff’s Office reached out to me expressing their desire to have my help with the implementation of their cutting-edge Homeless Outreach Team, and on Friday, I met with two deputies. These guys were to be the boots on the ground of the pilot program HOT. They are two great guys with a heart for helping others who want to “police” in a way as to help the homeless instead of arrest them. They were given a brand new 15 passenger Ford Transit van for the job. They told me their duty was to transport the homeless, and they asked for my help.

Since that time, we have connected with over 700 homeless individuals, have housed over 70, and have a total of over 650 contacts in conjunction with the HOT. It has been an honor and a blessing to be called by Him to lead in this way. To me, this is proof that God can truly use anyone. As a very dear friend would say just put your “Yes” on the alter and watch what God can do with it. As we look forward to the next several months, we are looking for financial, organizational, and church partnerships.

Be the change is to help them learn how to help themselves, give them a hand up instead of a handout.

The mission of this Hope Haven campaign is to raise awareness and educate the community about the alternative to giving panhandlers money on the street.

Did you know that 1 panhandler can make on average $40 an hour? 1 homeless individual made $800 one Saturday and that money contributed directly to the drug habits of several people. It costs tax payers $1000 to arrest and process 1 homeless person for misdemeanors. Arresting homeless people doesn’t solve the problem, it only wastes our tax money as police are rerouted to deal with the problem instead of utilizing their purpose of protecting the citizens from more serious crimes.

Because of our community’s generosity, when they give our homeless individuals money on the street, they are only making them more comfortable where they are, whether that’s in the woods, in front of our stores or under the bridges. The cash our generous community hands over to our homeless individuals goes directly to alcohol, drugs and cigarettes.

Spend your money wisely and Don’t Give Change, Be the Change starting with rallying with us to acquire case workers and other staff who will help us get identification, rehab, transitional or permanent housing and other social services to begin the path to lifelong self-sufficiency for these homeless individuals.

Rally With Us to Be the Change