Karen Gibson: Home is where the heart is | CraigDailyPress.com

Karen Gibson: Home is where the heart is

Karen Gibson, Co-pastor, Friendship United Methodist Church

Wow, what an awesome morning I had.

The temperature was perfect, and sitting out on the back deck in the sunshine was like a gift from God.

Other than the birds chirping it was completely quiet. You and I both know these moments of tranquility are short-lived.

When we are able to capture one of these special moments, we appreciate them. I also appreciate the gift of a home and a deck where I can sit outside whenever I choose.

There is no law that says everyone must be given a place to live.

“You have to earn it,” the pundits say.

Occasionally someone buys a raffle ticket and wins a house (however, I don’t recommend raffles), sometimes it comes with the occupation one has, but most of the time it takes money to get a place to live.

Is it necessary the community of faith accepts the burden, responsibility or privilege of helping people find places to live?

I support the Love In the Name of Christ model of providing help in the community.

I know there are other good agencies in Moffat County that provide rental money. However, Love INC recognizes the need for emergency housing and accountability at the same time.

Clients live rent free for three months while they are developing structure and order in their lives.

Love INC enters into a contract with the person or family so that they are monitored, and not provided with all the amenities that a hotel room would have. One of the contract rules is that they must be looking for work, and once they get a job, saving their money for first and last month’s rent and security deposits.

Clients must also take a budget course offered by Love INC volunteers. Clients are encouraged to attend church, where they will find a larger support system. Love INC is the only organization that provides this unique service with accountability.

There are not enough funds from local churches to provide for the ongoing cost of emergency housing, along with maintaining a part-time director and office staff.

Local grants were denied earlier this year, and now the need to cut emergency housing from the budget has been made.

A unique, one-of-a-kind program that already had the groundwork established and had been an asset to our community will soon be missed.

One could say it’s the church’s responsibility to see emergency housing is funded, or is it the church’s responsibility to see that justice is carried out?

The Bible says, in Micah 6: 8 NRSV, “He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you, but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”

Not everyone needs a house, but a place with a roof over it would be nice.

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