July 9, 2019

Out of nowhere, a woman I hardly knew recently asked me, “What are the main obstacles for families who are homeless?”

“Housing and social isolation,” I replied quickly.

Housing means an affordable place to live that provides security and stability.  The cost of rental housing in this country remains out of reach for so many families that we serve at Bridge of Hope.  While housing is essential for families, it isn’t affordable for a family if it means they can’t also afford transportation, food or childcare.

Social isolation is equally an obstacle.  Perhaps it’s hard for you to imagine not having anyone to turn to.  But for many families facing homelessness, there are very few relationships of support to fall back on and often the friends and family they do have are also dealing with similar circumstances, like poverty and housing instability.  What does ending social isolation look like?  It looks like someone to text with, someone who checks in to make sure you are doing ok.  It’s knowing that someone is holding out hope for you.  It’s a feeling that you are seen, known and appreciated.

Maya Angelou said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Social isolation ends when a family facing homelessness feels the hope that another human offers them, when they know they have someone to walk with.

Holding out hope means that I am saying yes to my neighbors, both homeless and housed, immigrant and citizen, black and white, rich and poor, healthy and disabled – this is what keeps me open to the ways of God in the world.

So today I commit to saying YES more often, holding out hope more often, even when it’s inconvenient!

  • Yes to my homeless neighbor.
  • Yes to the woman on the bus with a strong odor.
  • Yes to the neighbor girl who writes mean words on my shed.
  • Yes to spontaneous little acts of kindness.
  • Yes to journeying on the Jesus way.

May your summer be full of yes moments!

Edith Yoder
Executive Director

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