Last night, I loaded up the newly redecorated TKJ-mobile with boxes of various household goods, dishes, groceries, a microwave and a Clean Start kit and set off for the Overbrook section of Philadelphia. Darren had moved in a few months ago, but he had just let me know a week or so ago. He has asthma and part of the apartment is carpeted, so he asked for a vacuum cleaner and cleaning supplies. I told him about Operation: Clean Start, so we had the cleaning supplies covered. The vacuum cleaner might be more of a stretch. He called me on Tuesday to tell me that Food stamps had messed up a file, so he did not receive any and would not get any until they fixed that. (Of course, thanks to the GOP sequester, food stamps are severely reduced at any rate.) Could I bring him some food?
It turned out he did not need the microwave, but one of his neighbors did. I cleared out The King’s Jubilee emergency pantry of canned goods and pasta for him. Then I handed him $100 in cash for him to use at the thrift store or grocery store to fill in the gaps. Hopefully he will be able to find a vacuum and get some more food with that. Darren was very thankful. He is a kind soul. He is glad to have a secure place to call home after living under a bridge for seven years.
If you support this ministry by your prayers, with your donations or with your service, you helped him make it through those years. God bless you.
There are many more like Darren who we need to help find a way home. I need to add that we are not finished in our relationship with Darren or the others who have moved off of the street. We continue to serve and to aid in skills development and community integration. This is not just a Thursday night ministry. But to keep up this level of ministry, we need more, regular, pledged support. Please pray and consider what God would have you do to help us end the shame of homelessness in Philadelphia.