There are some people who believe the homeless population needs the gospel to achieve ultimate and eternal healing from the problems they have “largely created themselves.”
First of all, not every problem they experience has been created by themselves. Homelessness can happen to anyone. Period. My response to this belief is that we cannot assume to know what someone’s needs are. If believing in God, or a power greater than yourself, is what you need to overcome the challenges you are facing, fantastic!
However, this is not true for everyone. When people who believe in this ideology come to Skid Row, for example, and try to perform an exorcism on a homeless person who is having a seizure, it does more harm than good. It continues to propagate the stigma associated with homelessness, which often has life-threatening consequences.
The issue of homelessness is a very complex one. I don’t claim to know all the answers, but I do know that if you’re trying to create positive change, you first need to accurately identify the issues that are present.
I have found that one of the most effective ways of doing this is speaking directly to homeless people and listening to them without bias or judgment.
Let’s continue to have compassion and empathy and stay open-minded, always.