2022 October #2
By a Joy Junction Staff Member (JBF)
It has been heard many times throughout the state of New Mexico that if you do not like the weather, wait five minutes, and it will change.
That seems to be so true. However, there are times when we wish the change would come a little quicker – like when the cold days begin to last longer than the warmer days, or vice versa, when the heat is almost unbearable.
As winter approaches, we begin to be more and more concerned over the people living out on the streets. Life out there can be very dangerous…in more ways than one.
When the brisk, chilled winds hit, sometimes, they can be felt deep in the bones if no protection is found. Once chilled, it’s hard to get the body warmed up again.
We know that sitting or lying on hard surfaces, like sidewalks, can cause the cold to feel like it’s adhered to the skin. There seems to be no separation from the two. It’s just downright cold – through and through.
We feel for the homeless people out in the cold who may not know there is another option. Our mission is to get as many people off the streets, and into our shelter, as possible (within legal guidelines).
We want to give each person an opportunity for life transformation. We are here to help and want to provide a chance for a complete turnaround.
For each of our guests, we offer:
- a warm bed – which gives protection from the outdoor elements,
- a shower for each day — which helps them feel refreshed and ready to embark on a new day, and
- three meals a day – which fills their bodies with nutrition for health and stamina.
We also have programs to help make the transformation possible. But, in order to feel capable of attending class and following through with the program requirements, each person needs to feel rested and secure (a bed and protection from the outdoor elements), refreshed (a nice, warm shower), and healthy (three meals a day).
Once the physical needs are met, most people are more relaxed and ready to take on the next task. Which, in this case, is working hard to make changes in their lives. Being able to allow their minds to focus on the assignments, is half the battle.
When we see people living on the streets, we think about the fact that each homeless person is someone’s family member. The man or woman laying bundled up in the corner of buildings…is someone’s son or daughter, and possibly, someone’s sibling, or maybe they are a parent.
For a time, when they come to our shelter, we want to be their new family and encourage them to seek a better path for their lives. Yes, it’s hard work, but we know with God’s help, they can overcome the obstacles in their lives and choose a healthier path.
Watching the life transformations of those who make the decision to change is very gratifying. We are encouraged to continue the course when we see positive results like that.
We work hard to help others work toward positive life changes.