Our hearts hurt for those without a home…

Our hearts hurt for those without a home

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

Summertime. It’s a season when the cold weather has been gone for a while and many of us are enjoying our time outside.

Most of this season brings plenty of sunshine throughout the day. Feeling that warm sun in the morning energizes us and prepares our mind for a good, productive day ahead.

In our area, the sky is usually a beautiful blue color from morning till evening. We have the occasional storm, but normally, we have minimal clouds and a clear sky. 

Because of the warm weather and blue sky, the summer season may include outdoor events like picnics, trips to the lake, grilling out, and going to a local restaurant or store for ice cream.  Fun and fellowship seem to be the main focal points.

For those who have air conditioning inside a home, summer isn’t all that bad. They go enjoy their activities during the sun-filled day and then return to a comfortable, cool environment to rest up. Indoors, they are protected from the sun and weather elements, or anything else that is going on outside.

But, what about those who do not have a home?

The heat from our summer sun can be a major risk factor to those who are having to be out in it on a daily basis, with no relief. When there is no break from the sun’s rays, it is extremely uncomfortable, and can be dangerous. Heat exhaustion or heat stroke are two of the main concerns during high-heat circumstances.

Getting out of the scorching sun is vital to the health of any person – of any age. It’s amazing how quickly dehydration can hit. No matter the age of a person, when they are constantly in the sun’s heat, it can be a serious and very uncomfortable place to be in.

Our hearts hurt for those without a home.

We especially hurt for those who feel they have no other choice, but to be out in the hot weather. We want to encourage them to seek shelter – with us or any of the other shelters in the city.

Safety (for the body) during the day, out of the heat, is just as important as safety at night (dangers on the street) when there is no sun. The type of safety needed may be different, but it’s still necessary. 

We offer a safe environment, full of hope and encouragement.  We offer the opportunity for change.

Our shelter’s mission is to minister to families, couples, single women, and single men who have found themselves in the situation of being homeless.  We welcome them with open arms and do our best to help them feel at home while they work to get their lives turned around.

As they enjoy three meals a day and a place to lay their head each night, they are given the time to determine which path to take to help them move forward with their life. 

Judy (not her real name) expresses her thoughts, along that same line, as she shares her story:

We lost our home because the landlord wanted to give it to a family member. That caused us to be homeless because we could not afford rent anywhere else in the city. (We are still hoping for an apartment, as soon as one opens up in our price range.)

We stayed in a cheap motel until we ran out of money. Late one night, in desperation, I looked online to see if there was anyone who could help families going through homelessness. The first place that popped up was Joy Junction.

I called the number and was greeted by a caring person who seemed to understand our situation. They said we were welcome to come. So, the next morning, my husband drove our family here.

Since then, we have volunteered wherever they have needed help. After a while, we both realized that the programs they offered were exactly what we needed, so we joined.

Coming to the shelter was the right decision for us. We feel closer to God and have learned new things. We feel so much stronger, and when the time comes, we’ll be ready to move forward.

Every day of the year, our goal is not only to feed and shelter our guests, but to enlighten them with programs centered on improving their decision-making processes. With our program guidance, we hope to empower them to feel the courage to step back into the workforce again.

However, the heat is not only felt by the sun’s rays during this time of the year, it is also felt by the lack of funds being sent to support our efforts. We feel it in an intense way during the summer months, our lowest financial time of the year, when many folks choose to put their funds toward summertime activities. 

We certainly do not want them to deprive themselves of their enjoyment, but we would love to include them as our partners as we work to offer assistance to those who come to us when their lives have been turned upside down.

As God directs you during the summer months, please consider helping us as we strive tominister to those who arrive on our doorstep.