Offer Housing- Justice for the Homeless #4

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Mike stayed in our family house for four years before he passed away.

When Jesus spoke of helping the homeless, he didn’t talk about giving them a dollar, but inviting them into our home. Yes, giving a smile to a person begging, or some food is great, but when a person has no housing, what they really need is some security overnight so they can get some sleep.

My family of five live in a six bedroom house. We specifically purchased this house so that we could take our extra rooms and welcome the homeless to live with us. We have had as many as eleven folks live with us. I am not suggesting that everyone who reads this take so many people in, but many of us have extra room where we could take someone in. Because what the homeless really need is an opportunity

If you take someone in, I recommend that you get to know the person beforehand. Find out if they will be compatible with you or those who live with you. Also ask others who have lived with her or him about how safe they are. Make a contract with the person, which will determine their responsibilities (e.g., chores, no smoking in the house) and yours (e.g., 30 days notice)

Another option, especially if someone is living in their car is to have your church host them for a period of time in your parking lot. Again, you should have a contract with them, and you should give them a trial period before you invite them to stay long term. Again, Anawim has done this with many different homeless folks successfully.

If you would like to support Anawim in our efforts to provide security for the needy, please donate here. If you’d like to help volunteer to provide security for those staying with us, please contact Pastor Steve at 503-888-4453

  1. August 31, 2014


    when I was about seventeen I woke up one morning and found that my dad had let a transient sleep in our living room and left for work without telling my mother, the man became slightly psychotic and we had to make him happy because the man of the house was not home, needless to say this is why a lot of people don’t just open their homes to the home less, it is a dangerous undertaking and someone stands to get hurt!

    • August 31, 2014


      Certainly letting strangers in your home can be dangerous. But the first point is to know people who are homeless. If we know people, then we can find out if they are safe or not. And I never invite someone in my home without my wife’s approval. Unfortunately, your father wasn’t wise in how he did it. Nevertheless, Jesus’ said, “I was a stranger and you invited me in.” This is mercy and love.

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