I firmly believe that all people should be treated with dignity and respect, regardless of their social and economic status or circumstances. Unfortunately, too often, the nation’s homeless do not receive equal treatment. They face discrimination and receive scornful stares. Many times, they’re treated like second-class citizens.

This only helps to increase feelings of isolation and hopelessness among the homeless. At the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM), we look at all individuals as human beings, regardless of their backgrounds or life’s choices. Our number one goal is to preserve their dignity and respect. Secondly, we let them know that there is someone who loves them unconditionally and will care for them: God. And third, we treat their immediate needs and then delve down below the surface to address their deeper needs, whether it’s physical, spiritual or mental. Otherwise, it’s likely their issues — hunger, addiction, homelessness, poverty — will return in the future.

The homeless and disadvantaged need compassion, not disdain. They need a helping hand, not just a hand out. DRMM extends a helping hand to all who need our services. Life on the streets is very tough. The homeless need access to all of the things that you and I take for granted. For example: a hot shower, a hearty meal, warm shelter and career/academic opportunities. We provide for those who cannot, at this time, provide for themselves. If it were you on the streets, wouldn’t you welcome the help and the kindness of strangers? Think about that the next time you see someone living on the street.

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