Have you ever wondered how you can make a difference in your community during your daily commute or while you’re out running errands?
Our friends at Christ in the City provide a powerful perspective on encountering the homeless during daily life – doing so in a way that reflects Jesus in our hearts.
Although the organization itself exists on the streets of Denver and Philadelphia, its message and approach can resonate with others across the country–or even the world!
The organization's website states that “the mission of Christ in the City is rooted in drawing its participants into an intimate relationship with Jesus, touching what it means to be human: being loved by God in the midst of our own poverty and being called to love those around us in the midst of their own poverty.”
Christ in the City focuses on education.
By educating others about the true needs of their friends on the streets, they can help change hearts and make a wider difference. Their recent documentary did just that.
“Don’t let the idea that you can’t fix someone’s problems keep you from looking the person in the eye, smiling, and even saying “hello.” This lets them know that they aren’t invisible, as they often tell us they feel.”
Here are some of Christ in the City's tips for encountering the homeless at a stoplight:
Ask the person’s name
One of our friends once told us that he went four months without hearing his own name. If you have time, ask where they are from, what their hobbies are, etc.
Reach out and offer a handshake
This simple gesture breaks a barrier and expresses that you recognize their dignity.
Give socks/water/soft snacks
If you can keep some of these things in your car, they are often greatly appreciated! Socks are highly valued on the streets and soft foods are recommended as many of our friends on the street may not be able to chew hard foods.
Christ in the City suggests creating “care kits” on their website here.
Friendship is worth more than $5
“On my daily commute, I get stopped at an intersection where Donna always stands with her sign. I have become friends with her and always ask how her day is going. One day she told me, ‘It’s not about what you can give, but the two minutes you give me. Talking to you at the light gets me through the day. I look forward to seeing you.”