Homelessness Survey 2020 Results

Thank you to those of you who completed our short homelessness survey in the May Newsletter. We always appreciate hearing your points of view on issues that are important to our community.

Causes of Homelessness

Overall, all of you acknowledged that there are multiple causes of homelessness. Addiction, job loss, and mental health issues ranked as the top three responses. And it is true that these issues do exacerbate people on the brink of poverty, especially those with little to no family support.

Everyone who is homeless has unique reasons for his or her dilemma. Your gifts to the Mission provide comprehensive care, from mental health support to education and job training, addiction recovery, and more, to provide unique solutions.

Faith and Homelessness

Nearly all of our respondents indicated that faith in God is key to life-long recovery from homelessness. Union Gospel Mission Twin Cities remains true to its original charter of accepting people in their brokenness and leading them to faith in Jesus Christ.

Community Partnerships

About 85 percent of respondents indicated that community partnerships are vital to solving the crisis of homelessness. At the Mission, we provide key wraparound services. For areas we can’t cover, we refer our students and guests to other human services organizations. Examples include partners in eye care, dentistry, chiropractic, and legal help. These friends of the Mission help solve the complex issues behind someone’s living situation.

Responses to Homelessness

Your responses to the question of what you do when you see someone who is homeless varied greatly. Some of you said you don’t know what to do, especially with COVID-19. Others said you direct people to the Mission or another community resource.

Many of you indicated that you hand out Tickets of Hope, with mixed results! Some panhandlers, you said, only want money and were unhappy with the Ticket. One person said there were scammers in her community posing as homeless, and someone else said she didn’t want to encourage panhandling in her area.

A few of you said you give a smile and wave to acknowledge someone asking for money.

Others of you took a practical approach: You said you’d take someone to a local restaurant, hire them to do a job for you and pay them for their time, or donate clothing and linens to a local shelter. One of you said you were thinking of giving away white cotton socks!

The Best Response

When you see someone who is homeless, be sure to smile and wave to remind them of their dignity and humanity. Give real change through a Ticket of Hope. And remember to pray for our brothers and sisters on the streets to find faith in Jesus Christ.

Watch here for how you can respond to people facing homelessness in our community:

https://youtu.be/AHgs_-37BnA

 

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