In the United States, 3.5 million people will become homeless each year. Roughly 35% of the homeless population is families with children.(SOURCE) This is the fastest growing facet of the homeless population. This is because with children spend more money on average than single or married people. There are many ways that the government has tried to alter these statistics. However, with the high rate of budget cuts, more and more people are being laid off from their jobs, it is nearly impossible. Many times veterans come home from war to little or no family, and find themselves without a steady paying job or support; so they too become homeless. In addition to these people, young people are also at risk for homelessness. They may be a part of a family affected by the recession, or they may have run away from their home without considering the consequences of their actions.
One place that the homeless of any circumstance can go is a local church. A vast majority of churches will accept some of the local homeless for a few nights a week. This gives them a place to shower, sleep and eat a warm meal. This is a program that receives support through its congregation members, as well as citizens in the community. ‘Room in The Inn’ is typically the name of this program.
Room in the Inn is a program that started in 1986 with four churches offering to become a place to house the homeless in the community of Nashville. To date, this program has expanded to over 180 churches to help over 1,400 homeless people from November 1st to March 31 each year. This program is effective for the homeless community because they are being fed both physically and spiritually. While they are getting their physical needs met, they should also be hearing of the love of God. The fact that they are living in shelters, or on the streets is no excuse for someone to deprive them of learning God has a bigger and better plan for their lives.
In Lebanon however, we also have a homeless shelter. The Salvation Army has many branches nationwide to help the homeless population. The Lebanon branch is called “ The Salvation Army of Wilson County” 400 families received assistance, 1,000 nights of housing were provided, and 10,000 dollars’ worth of food were given to the homeless community in the year 2012 alone. The Salvation Army is important because of the vast impact it makes in the lives of people without homes. They take into consideration that homelessness is not limited to men who were in the war, but that there are men, women, children and even families who have no means of financial stability. The Salvation Army also have programs in local areas where the proceeds go to directly to the Salvation Army.
The Roast is a spot here in Lebanon that all the proceeds go to the Salvation Army. It is a smoothie and coffee bar open to the youth of the town and specifically geared towards the students of Cumberland University. While the beverages are free, it is encouraged to leave a donation for the Salvation Army. It is a healthy and safe alternative to Silverado’s bar or other drug and alcohol filled environments. The organization of the Salvation Army is one of the best ones that people have come into knowledge about. It is not only geared towards men, women, children or families; it is helpful to everyone. The community can become active participants in helping the homeless population of their town and the issue of homelessness is brought to light. It is important for the college generation to understand the importance of helping the homeless, as well as learning the skills to find stable work after college. The next local homeless shelter is the Nashville Rescue Mission. This is a place where men, women, and children can go to receive a meal and a warm place to sleep year round. It all started in the year 1953 with a ‘radio preacher’ (someone who gives a sermon over radio)