That’s right, I am a conservative. Both fiscally and socially, I stand firm in my principals and beliefs. And how does that match up with my involvement with serving the homeless? Perfectly… As a Fiscal conservative I want to do all I can to see our government control wasteful spending. I understand that we need to have a tax system, but I want our representation in government and those who work at government entities, to spend those taxes in the most effective manner. Obviously that does not always happen. I have been told by homeless individuals on the street that they hate to see some of the waste. Some, not all, have told me about homeless programs that are government funded based on how many homeless people they have at the shelter and these same homeless men and women have said this does not motivate these facilities to help move homeless men and women off the streets and back into the workplace and a life of personal responsibility. Now don’t get me wrong, there are many programs that don’t work in this manner and HOBO NATION www.hobonation.org is proud to be part of an effort to provide funding to these programs…But did you notice what I said? This fact was brought to my attention by individuals who are homeless and relying on some of this assistance. That was an eye opener to me. If you choose to be part of serving the homeless I can assure you that you will encounter many “eye openers”..
As a social conservative I have values and opinions based on those values that I wish we all followed. When I say, “we all”, I have to include myself. I find that many of us who proclaim to be socially conservative can also be labeled judgmental, and again, I have fallen into that grouping. Now here is a very cool thing about serving the homeless and working with them to help resolve this problem and not just judge it; through encouragement, accountability, and getting to know the “whole” story, we can put our social conservatism into action and not just words. As I serve each week and those who serve with me, (most of my group I serve with would also call themselves conservatives but obviously service is not limited to any group or belief system), we can earn an opportunity to speak into the lives of those on the street. I admit that not everyone will want to hear. That’s fine and I respect that. But for those that are open to listening, my hope is they will see that my goals line up just like theirs. We both want to see them off the street, back to work, back with their family. Rather than tearing down and only judging, our words of encouragement and many times challenge, help these individuals with the incentive to make the changes they need to make in their lives to achieve their goals. Again, I am a realist, I understand that not everyone on the street wants to make changes, or is willing to do what it takes, wants to stop relying on others (including money from the government (tax payers)). But here is what the goal of HOBO NATION, myself, and many who serve: to help those who want to be helped, have all the tools and encouragement they need to get back to work, for some to break addictions, to restore relations with families, (especially children), and to work their way back off the streets.
Now fellow conservative or my liberal friends you have a choice to make on this issue (homelessness). Do you do the easy thing and stand back and judge, or do you roll up your sleeves, get dirty,(literally sometimes), meet face to face with those you may fear or hold in disdain, and practice what you preach???
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