Maurice Smith 
Member since Dec 14, 2016


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Recent Comments

Re: “Offering homeless people 'dignity,' new Union Gospel Mission rules limit access

Here is a summary of my issues with what is being discussed in this article. As someone who has spent the past 10+ years working among the homeless and marginalized, including 5 years a very involved Board Member of a local homeless shelter, I am concerning about the following.
1. I am concerned whenever we create additional barriers to services for people already struggling with overcoming significant obstacles in their lives.
2. I am concerned whenever our rules and/or policies have the net effect of making ministry toward those in need easier for us, but harder for those under our care.
3. I am concerned whenever our policies and behaviors send a message, however unintentional, which causes the homeless and marginalized to feel that we will only love them, feed them, clothe them and serve them if they agree to our terms and submit to our rules.
4. I am concerned that we are sending a message about God's love and compassion that is unbiblical, false and contrary to the Spirit of Matthew 25:31-46. NO WHERE does Jesus tell us to love and serve those in need only if they agree to our terms and conditions.
3. I am concerned when a policy of requiring a picture ID is implemented when the lack of a picture ID is a well-known and frequent problem among the homeless and marginalized. The loss of idea is common and happens for a wide variety of reasons. And recovering/re-establishing ID can be a long and expensive process. To require such an ID in order to access services is to hide behind a well known barrier.
4. I am concerned that such restrictive policies send a message that Evangelical Christians (of which I am one) are more interested in rules and programs than they are in loving those for whom Christ died. The homeless and marginalized will never find "dignity" by being told they are only worth being served if they are willing to sacrifice their dignity by submitting to our rules and conditions.
5. As an Evangelical Christian, I am concerned that it now appears easier for a homeless person to gain entry to the Kingdom of God than it is for them to gain access to a meal at the Mission.
5. As Evangelical Christians, we need to come to a point where we can once again see the face of Jesus in the face of the homeless and marginalized and respond accordingly, with unconditional love and sacrificial service toward "the least of these."

12 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Maurice Smith on 12/14/2016 at 2:11 PM

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