( I am a real big fan of U2 and the theological messages in their music.)
People from across Simi Valley and Ventura County have been doing significantly more to help get the poor off of the streets then in the past and much more than many of us might have realized.
In Simi Valley recent progress has been made in helping homeless people and helping others from becoming homeless. I was really inspired and proud of the people in the homeless task force when I read this story from The Star.
The Ventura County has a whole section devoted to understanding the plight of homeless video that includes individual stories, videos, pictures and more.
Click here for the new section from The Star.
Click here for the Samaritan Center of Simi Valley's website. The website is currently down but I linked to a cached version of it. The center takes donations of many basics of life including white athletic socks, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, chapstick, and other basic grooming supplies.
Let's play the inspiration game. if you as a reader will leave a comment with your real name and pledge to make a donation of needed items to the Samaritan Center by Christmas eve I will make a pledge to do something to help for each person that takes the pledge.
The things I am willing to do is interview homeless people and post the interviews, make donations, volunteer at my church's community dinner, blog about upcoming meetings, and ask others to help. I am also open to suggestions.
Let's start inspiring each other.
UPDATE: The Star's blogs were down for awhile so I am extending the challenge. So far I am bringing more to the Samaritan Center because Kim posted that she will be bringing some of the requested items on their list. Let's keep it going.
This message was forwarded onto different churches and church leaders in Simi Valley by community activist Kurt Fredrickson.
Dear Friends, December 21st with the longest night of the year is Homeless Memorial Day.
That day throughout the country homeless people who have died will be remembered.
These are often the invisible people in our community. Some have become homeless because of their own choices; most because of situations that have overtaken their lives from which they have difficulty recovering.
For some, reducing and preventing homelessness is not just a good thing to do, it is actually a moral obligation. Those who have, and who have in abundance have a obligation to care for those less fortunate.
Three homeless people from Simi Valley died this year. Here is part of their stories--
one died at a PADS site, one died in pickup truck in a driveway, one died in a dumpster--all three called Simi Valley home.
each one struggled with significant issues that made them homeless and kept them homeless
they are some of the invisible people
Kevin was a long time resident of Simi Valley and used the services of the Samaritan Center on a fairly regular basis. Through all his inner struggles he still managed to break into a smile and laugh about things. He had several close friends at the center and offered to help where he could. He was in a very peaceful state the week that he passed.
Mike was also a long time resident of Simi Valley. He had many friends and was always one to talk with other clients that were in at state of unrest. There were several clients that commented on his ability to calm them and show them that some of the things that upset them weren't worth being upset over. He was always willing to help at the center when asked.
Jim was a long time client at the Samaritan center. He fought many inner issues over the years, but was making progress in putting them behind him. He made changes that got him off the streets the latter part of his life. He talked about his desires to see his son find a way out of the life on the streets.
Peace to their memory
this weekend, consider spending a moment in your worship service remembering.
and thanks for all you do to bring light into our community.