October 10 has been designated World Homeless Day to draw attention to local needs and provide opportunities for the community to get involved in responding to homelessness, while taking advantage of the stage an ‘international day’ provides.
At RESCUE!, we consider it a blessing to come alongside and support what our local Union Gospel Mission (UGM) is doing in our community to help people who are experiencing homelessness. ⠀
Says UGM Executive Director Phil Altmeyer, "We mark World Homeless Day to remember that our neighbors experiencing homelessness are real people, created by God for a greater purpose than mere survival on the streets."
Aside from meeting the immediate needs of providing food and shelter, UGM changes lives by offering healing from trauma, and helping empower the individual through job training and employment readiness. ⠀
Their approach is working. An average of 200 men and women each year are able to break the cycle of homelessness by taking advantage of what UGM has to offer. As Altmeyer explains, "A paycheck is important, but the value of a job extends beyond the financial. Meaningful work brings dignity and self-respect."⠀
By serving a meal to the homeless once a month at the UGM shelter, our employees are reminded how fortunate we are to be in a position where we can offer support to those who are struggling. It takes us out of our comfort zone, and we often leave our time of service humbled and steeped in gratitude.⠀
In addition to serving monthly meals at the UGM shelter, last year we sponsored the UGM City-Wide Thanksgiving Dinner. Here's a video showing what it was like to serve a Thanksgiving meal to one thousand people in need: