Unthinkable produced My Concrete Mattress in order to raise awareness about homelessness within the Church, but it wasn’t merely intended to raise awareness. We wanted the film to lead to service. So in our efforts to achieve that goal, we wanted to have a way to show you some examples of great ministries that are caring for the homeless around America. Although you may not live in the same geographic location as these ministries, we believe they provide models for how to serve in effective and excellent ways.
Additionally, Unthinkable has relationships with the leadership at all of these organizations. This makes us proud to give them our whole-hearted seal of approval. While there are many other amazing organizations out there, these are some of the ones that we can confidently endorse as trustworthy.
Please take some time and check out the great organizations below.
A Note on International Poverty & Homeless Care:
Unfortunately we are not currently engaged in serving the poor beyond the states. We are working on developing a list of good international agencies and should have them available once they are properly screened.
Having a heart to serve the homeless can be a great, God given, gift… if used correctly. One has to be careful to not serve based purely in emotion. The more informed you are in your understanding of the issue, the greater your potential to serve houseless men, women, and children will be. It is in light of this that we are very excited to share these reports covering the issue of homelessness.
Below you will find a collection of PDF files (presented by the National Coalition for the Homeless). We invite you to click the links, download the files, and use the information here as you attempt to love God and love the houseless. Additionally, the National Alliance to End Homelessness released a report on the current picture of homelessness in America. You can access their report, The State of Homelessness in America 2012, by clicking here.
Church Advocacy & Mobilization | The Hub
The Hub was birthed as a result of a desire to see the poor and hurting in the Shreveport/Bossier City area (Louisiana) come to know the deep and meaningful life found only through Jesus Christ. The Hub is unique as it is a stand alone ministry that unites churches, through events and outreaches, to meet the critical needs of those in poverty. This is literally churches uniting as the Church to meet practical human needs and to love in the name of Jesus Christ.
We see The Hub as an incredible model for uniting churches around the cause of the poor. We invite you to visit their website and consider contacting them if you are interesting in launching a Hub type organization in your community. We 100% endorse this amazing organization that is loving God and loving the homeless very well.
Full-Service Provider | Atlanta Mission
Atlanta Mission programs are designed to create opportunities to develop life on life relationships that lead to transformation. People take various roads to homelessness – job loss, family tragedy, addiction, domestic violence, major health concern — the common denominator is a major crack in their life foundation. Their programs are built around Christ as the redemptive agent on whom individuals build a firm foundation and new life choices. Homelessness is caused by life, life is complex. Therefore their programs are multi-pronged and multi-layered, designed to meet men, women and children where life has lead them and shine the light of Christ down a new road.
Atlanta Mission is one of the best homeless service providers we have encountered. From top to bottom they are changing lives and doing it with excellence. We endorse their efforts for anyone interested in a full-service, large scale homeless ministry would look like.
One-on-One | AVAIL
Quite possibly the most creative and innovative model for caring for the houseless is represented by AVAIL. Instead of trying to end houselessness, AVAIL aims to alleviate it, in that we want to see each man and woman in the community live the best life that they can while they find themselves in that season of their life. A key aspect of what AVAIL strives to do and what they have seen to work thus far, is a consistent relational approach. Operating from a relational stance allows them to build fellowship, friendship, trust, and respect with individuals. Furthermore, AVAIL believes that this relational approach is only effective when it is applied consistently. A large reason why these men and women are in their position is because of either a lack of consistency (i.e. parents) or a negative consistency (i.e. drugs, alcohol, prostitution). AVAIL hopes to be a positive consistency.
AVAIL is a GREAT model and would a GREAT resource for anyone feeling called to one-on-one care for the houseless. We encourage you to learn more about them at houselessness.org.
If you have further questions about how to engage in serving the homeless in your area, we’d be glad to help you personally. Just send us a message and we will get back with you as quickly as we can.