MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — DeKendell Young with the Waterfront Rescue Mission in Mobile joins us. Here’s a look at our conversation:
Anchor: We wanted to talk about something people of most major religions are called to do–help the poor. What do you think is the Christian response to homelessness?
Guest: The Christian response to homelessness should be to put into action what the Bible teaches us. God speaks often of the poor and needy. He commands us to give generously to them and to speak up on their behalf.
Anchor: How do we know when we help we’re not inadvertently enabling addiction or other bad behaviors?
Guest: I always tell Christians when it comes to helping and assisting…always follow the lead and guide of the Holy Spirit. A lot of times we give and do for others because it makes us feel good. If we just follow the Spirit he will never lead us wrong and that’s regarding all areas of life.
Anchor: What’s the best way to help the homeless?
Guest: The best way to help the homeless is to connect them with the community resources that has the potential to set them up for lifelong success.
Sometimes when we give the panhandler what they want and not what they need it contributes to the problem. We must point them in the right direction. Waterfront is in the business of giving hand-ups and not handouts.
Anchor: What are the common fears or apprehensions that come with helping the needy and how does one overcome them?
Guest: Well a lot of apprehensions and fears come from the thought of..is this person trying to take advantage of me and my kindness. The way to overcome that goes back to an earlier answer. Let the Spirit lead you. We have to be mature and mindful of the fact that God did not place us here to help everyone because everyone is not ready to be helped.
Anchor: How can people work to ensure families in need are no longer “needy”?
Guest: That’s a hard one because I don’t know for sure it that’s even possible. But one way that comes to mind is partnering with them. Holding them accountable in areas of their life to prevent those needy moments from happening again.