Multiply Justice

Archive for the category “Homelessness”

Coronavirus Could Crush the Poor – US News

COVID-19 could catch fire among the nation’s low-income residents, experts say, but with the crisis comes the opportunity for a just response.

A makeshift homeless camp in downtown Salem, Ore. (Photo: Andrew Selsky)

US News — The protocols for helping stop the spread of the novel coronavirus are by now familiar: Wash your hands frequently, avoid crowds and telecommute.

For millions of homeless, low-income or disabled people, however, running water can be a luxury, remote work isn’t an option and social distancing in a shelter or densely packed public housing is next to impossible. Never mind the difficulty of self-isolation or getting medical care for coronavirus concerns.

As a result, conditions like those in some of the nation’s largest cities, including COVID-19 hot zones such as Seattle, New York and San Francisco, could accelerate the spread of the potentially deadly virus through the nation’s most vulnerable populations, according to homelessness activists, housing officials and advocates for low-income communities.


She offered the homeless guy a biscuit … and they talked

At its most basic, multiplying justice is a matter of obeying the Spirit’s prompts and reaching out in compassion to someone in need. Anna Keller writes at The Alabama Baptist about one woman’s simple gesture that transformed a homeless man’s life — and her own:

helping_benny_2BIRMINGHAM, Alabama — Brittney Hanvey says she doesn’t quite know what made her pull over to the side of the road back in January to offer a homeless man a biscuit, but that seemingly small act set off a chain of events that are nothing short of miraculous.

Hanvey, a member of First Baptist Church, Montgomery, is a pharmaceutical sales representative, so she spends a lot of time driving around to various doctors’ offices. Every two weeks she visits the same doctor at Princeton Baptist Medical Center in Birmingham and recognized the same homeless man on the street visit after visit.

“There was always this same man out there, wearing a raggedy T-shirt and pants,” Hanvey recalled. “I was always told not to stop for people by the side of the road, because you couldn’t tell if they just wanted drugs.”

But, Hanvey said, one frigid January morning she felt compelled to stop and help the man.

“I was taking a doctor some breakfast, so I had some biscuits in my car, and I had a blanket for some reason too,” she said. “So I stopped and offered him a biscuit and the blanket, and he took both and asked me if I minded sitting and talking for a minute.”

As it turned out, the doctor saw Brittney stop and talk with the man that cold January day. He also was moved to reach out — and offered him a job. The rest of the story is amazing!

Read the rest by clicking here.

Loving the (homeless) neighbor

Ricardo Moraes, a Reuters photographer, spent some time among members of O Caminho, or “The Way,” a Franciscan community in Rio de Janeiro that serves the megacity’s homeless people. The Big Picture presents a series of 20 photographs shot by Moraes during his stay, and his comments on O Caminho’s ministry are available at the Reuters photographers blog.

In the marketplace of the  Campo Grande neighborhood, community members groom the homeless. An elderly woman among the curious passersby comments, “It takes the love of God to do something like that.”


Moraes concludes: “What made me happy was seeing how they acted naturally with the poor on their missions. Nothing they do is premeditated, nothing shows they are feeding their egos nor using their religion for personal satisfaction. Their attitudes and daily lives confirmed everything Antonio told me, about how they live ordinary lives and how they need the strength of their faith to continue. But more than that, they live for brotherly love. As it says in the prayer of St. Francis, I can say I met young people who bring joy where there is sadness and above all, want to love more than be loved.”

Click here to view the photo gallery.

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