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Knowing What I Know Now, It Is A Much Deeper Issue Than Someone Just Showing Up To “Get A Job.”

Growing up I attended a large, “mega” church in Downtown Dallas, Texas. It was not unusual for us to see homeless people in the area. I would often hear people around me say, “Why don’t they just go get a job? Everyone is hiring?” Even then I remember thinking, “But don’t you see them?” I would think through the whole situation logically even with my limited knowledge as a little girl--They need a shower and maybe some clean clothes would help. They need to wash their hands, get a haircut and for goodness sake, they need to brush their teeth! What I didn’t know to consider is many times they have lost their ID or never even had it in the first place. It is impossible for anyone to get a job without identification. Knowing what I know now, it is a much deeper issue than someone just showing up to “get a job.”


One of the first things that drew me to Matthew’s Hope is how we “Help Them, Help Themselves.” We bring dignity back to individuals because we see their eyes and we listen to them. People can come to Matthew’s Hope and we will help them get cleaned up so they can function in society, hiding in plain sight. Helping people obtain their identification can be a several step process as we try and recover birth certificates and social security cards. I’ve always had these items and most likely you have too. We don’t know what life is like to not have regular identification. The first time I saw a man cry because we were able to get his birth certificate and then to get his social security card, I realized quickly that it’s not as simple as “getting a job.” I have watched lives change one at a time as we help people move forward simply by helping them obtain their identity---some the very first time.


The next time you look at a homeless person on the street and think, “Why don’t they just get a job?” I encourage you to be slow to judge and perhaps be willing to reflect on what you now know about my people.

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