Being homeless is scary…

Being Homeless is Scary

2024 March #1
By a Joy Junction Staff Member (JBF)

Even though we have some nice, sun-filled days from time to time, it’s still winter.

The nights are cold outside…and we see the evidence of many people around our city trying to sleep and stay warm along the streets, down the alleyways, and between buildings. 

Some of them have just fallen on hard times and have no family to go to. It could be possible that they are unaware of shelter locations that could help them. Others are most likely either struggling with a mental illness or have an addiction of some sort.

Regardless of how someone has become homeless, they are still human beings.

For those who are living day-by-day for a “fix,” we would like for them to know that there are options for their circumstance. We’d like to believe that, deep down, they would love to be able to escape their “prison” of addiction and homelessness. 

Any type of addiction is hard to break. But, it IS possible.

Our hearts hurt for each of them. We would much prefer that they come to our shelter for help, than watch them struggle day after day on the street. Many times, our Lifeline of Hope staff is able to give encouragement to them as they share food and hygiene items with them. The staff talks about the options around the city that are available for them to receive assistance to get their lives turned around.

For others who simply have become homeless because they lost their job, or are escaping from an abusive relationship, or for some other non-addiction reason, we hope there are people around the city who will enlighten them and point the way to us. 

Our campus staff will encourage them, provide food and housing, and begin to get them on the right path as soon as they enter our doors.  Our life recovery programs are an intentional and better solution than trying to survive on the street.

“Being homeless is scary,”

said Betty (not her real name). “But, Joy Junction provides a safe environment for anyone who comes to them for help,”  she continued.  Here’s her story:

Right off the bat, they first provided for my physical needs – food and a bed – and that’s all I thought I needed. I was so thankful for that!

But, after a while, I realized that the other guests who were in the Christ in Power Program (CIPP) seemed different…more at peace. So, I decided to join it, too. I wanted what they had.

Through the Bible study class, I found that I have spiritual needs that I never knew about. I also found out that I needed to get away from the noise of life in order to hear God. When I was homeless, I was working so hard just to survive that I could only focus on that. I now understand that I needed to be removed from everything so God could heal me.

The CIPPers have volunteer assignments and I found that I really needed that. It made me feel good to be able to do something productive. The work gives me a sense of belonging. I feel needed and appreciated. That makes a difference when a person is depending on others for help.

I’m learning not to allow my past to dictate my future. When a scary situation comes up and I feel confusion overtaking me, the staff is always available to help me talk it through. They really care about us.

I know now that I am not in charge. I have learned that God believed in me long before I believed in Him. I no longer fear the future. I look forward with anticipation to what He has in store for me.

Each guest is different.  It is our desire to provide for the individual needs of each person we house.  

It’s always our hope that every single guest who comes to stay at our campus will begin the process of life change by joining our life recovery program. It really does give a solid foundation for them to stand on…for the rest of their lives.

When you see homeless people around the city, please pray for them to make the hard decision to go to a shelter that offers programs. As well, if you have a chance to actually talk to them, please mention that there really IS a place (Joy Junction) where they can go that will understand their situation and will work hard to help. Our nine-month program may seem tough for them, at first, but if they are serious about turning their lives around, we are confident that recovery is in their future.

Through the cold and hot seasons, we are here to help the homeless people who truly want a change for the better.