Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?
If you've followed my blog in the past, you know that homelessness is a problem I care very much about. As much as I enjoy the snow and cool weather, my heart aches for those with no shelter as I watch those first winter flakes drift downward. There is another group for whom I feel equal, if not more, compassion... teenagers in foster care. I never thought about how those two groups are linked... until our church was visited by Pastor Ryan from Shelter Church, and he told us about New Family Tree ministry.
Did you know that 60% of teens in foster care end up homeless when they turn eighteen? Did you know that one out of four homeless adults spent time in the foster system? These are local statistics, but I'm fairly certain they are similar in other areas of the U.S.
Pastor Ryan is attempting to draw attention to this problem, and raise funds for a solution! For the month of January, he is living in a van in Dayton, Ohio. He is twittering his experience, as well as doing a daily vlog entry. You can follow Ryan on facebook, or on his website 30dayshomeless. He is hoping to raise funds to help support the New Family Tree ministry that will provide housing and guidance for those teens 'aging out' of the foster system. His hope is to help these kids adjust to life in the adult world, enroll in college, find jobs, and provide shelter during this transitional time in their lives.
Please, take the time to watch his vlog and read the webpages. Share this event with others. If you feel the call to do something, your reward will be great. Think what a difference you could make in the life of a young person... a person with no one else to turn to...
Pastor Ryan sounds like a find man, homelessnss is a problem affecting so many age groups. Living in a van in January will be difficult, I wish him success.
Oh that makes my heart ache as well. It grieves me when I think of the many lives that are affected by homelessness and its effects. There certainly needs to be a great deal of attention draw to it. I will be checking out the facebook site.
This is amazing Lily. I am so there with him. Your statistics are sadly accurate but you are so right. We CAN make a difference.
I was a foster parent for a year. I still keep in touch with the little boy - but he's not so little any more. He's in his teens. He was adopted by a family member of his, which I thought was wonderful :)
This is heartbreaking. I especially have a soft spot for the kids and teens.
I was a foster teen. I am one of the few that can say they were a success story but that is only because a loving, Christian family took me in. I lived on the streets prior to getting a foster home. The longest period was 6 months. I was barely 16 years old. I saw 100's of teens get shuffled through the system over, and over again. I can't imagine what it is like today.
I will pray and if there's anything I can do to be a voice for a nameless, homeless teenager, I certainly will. Thank you for posting this, Lily~
there has got to be a better system, even though there are a lot of good foster parents. we were foster parents to infants before they were adopted and i've known some great foster parents, but it's a very difficult, heart-breaking ministry. those that can must open our homes and hearts.
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