HELPING THE HOMELESS
Calgary churches support a wide range of outreach projects and ministries. Many are focussed on world relief and development, many on the environment, some on human rights, and still others on evangelism here and abroad. It would be tempting to conclude that we at St. Stephen’s are not very mission-minded! But that would be a mistake.
Our own focus these past fifteen years, since the inception of Inn From the Cold, has been the local challenge of urban homelessness. While we continue to support several overseas projects, housing the homeless is what we do. We are known for this, we have become good at it, and there remains much work to do.
This Sunday, and then again in November, we are reacquainting ourselves with this outreach focus through presentations by John Rook, the Director of the Calgary Homeless Foundation, and Derek Cook, the Coordinator of Enough for All, the Mayor’s poverty-reduction initiative.
Four years into the City’s “Ten Years to End Homelessness”, we have made great strides. The Homeless Foundation reports that since 2008 over 3500 homeless people have been housed. That is an astounding number! Yet this bustling city continues to attract migration as people show up on our streets from other parts of the country, looking for work … and needing a place to live.
As we receive updates about homelessness in our city, let us also rededicate ourselves to its eradication. We need look no further for a mission field than the streets of our own city!