Homeless, Hungry and Hurting
Homelessness is seemingly everywhere. You can find people struggling with homelessness on our streets, in our parks, behind our buildings, in our parking lots, and under our bridges and overpasses.
Some lost their job and can’t find their way back. Some struggle with an addiction to drugs or alcohol. Some are battling mental illness such as PTSD or severe depression. All have stories. All need love and support.
According to the Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency, Marion and Polk counties are home to over 1,151 people experiencing homelessness.
Given the year-over-year, double-digit growth of the homeless population in the Mid-Willamette, there may never be enough beds. In this homelessness crisis, the importance of helping men, women and children break free of their cycle of homelessness cannot be understated.
Providing a bed does not reduce demand in and of itself, it just provides a night of shelter. However, equipping a hurting person with the tools to pick oneself up, address underlying issues, and return to society as a contributing member breaks that vicious cycle and makes the community a better place.
Here at UGM, hope starts with a meal, a hot shower and a safe place to sleep… and ends with New Life!
Jill, New Life Fellowship participant