The issue of homelessness in our communities is causing a polarization of the citizens of Ventura County at an unprecedented rate.
Some compassionate citizens see the homeless and give of their resources to those standing on the streets. Others don’t think twice about the homeless until an incident is broadcasted on the evening news. Still others yet are so frustrated with the homeless they wish they would all just drift away.
What are we to do? How can we come together to help end this difficult situation? At the Ventura County Rescue Mission we have been asking our compassionate friends to not give anything to those on the streets. While it sounds compassionate, it may simply prolong their homelessness by delaying their need to seek real help. Instead, they can come to the Mission for food, clothing, and shelter. And those who do not want this help will move on in search of another place that might support their lifestyle with a hand out.
The best gift we can give to the homeless in our community is to give to organizations like ours that actually help the homeless in recovering from drugs and alcohol, and provide job training so they can lead productive, independent lives. You can give to us and be assured that it goes directly to help provide food, job training, education, and housing for the homeless man, woman, and child that come to us seeking help.
For all of you, who support the work at the Mission, thank you, from all of us! ~ John E. Saltee, Director