Homelessness, Justice System Snip

My friend and colleague in ministry Jeremy (on staff at our Cornerstone Community Outreach) has written a long but worthwhile piece on homelessness. This particular snippet from it has massive implications and I encourage you to read and think it through. The entire article is linked at the end here. Thanks, -Glenn

"The truth is, the homeless population will not stop rotating in and out of County Jails as long as we have a justice system that locks people up for non-violent and petty offenses like loitering, sleeping in a park, drinking on a public way and minor possession charges. Without an income, they are unable to afford to bail themselves out, and they remain sitting in a cell until the Judge grants his or her judgment. Meanwhile, those with an income, and often with far greater offenses, are able to bail themselves out, hire a quality lawyer and stay connected with their community. I go into a lot of details about all this in this piece I wrote: Casting Stones

There is another reality about our rotating sick and incarcerated homeless friends, they often don't have the family or friends who can afford to bail them out, or pay for their hospitalizations, aftercare and medications. They are often alone. They need people. This is why Jesus placed so much emphasis on visiting the sick, dying and incarcerated. This is why Jesus spoke the "sheep and goats" parable and emphasized the need to get down with the "least of these!" His parables always challenged and provoked the elitist mindsets of His day! This is why Jesus emphasized the Kingdom of God, which stated "blessed are the poor, for theirs is the Kingdom of God!" He knew that other empires (politics, government etc.) were more interested and focused on the pursuit of money and power, than in uplifting and helping the poor and downtrodden!

We cannot instantly change the Health Care and Justice systems, they are too big and ingrained in our culture. There are a lot of good advocacy groups trying to do that, but as individuals, we can and must do random acts of subversive kindness. We can bring the Resurrection power to our hospitals, nursing homes, jails and prisons. As Jesus taught us to pray in the Lord's Prayer; we need to bring heaven to earth! This recently happened in Weiss Hospital, when my homeless friend Jerome was involved in a horrible accident and the sheer number of his visitors shocked all the doctors, nurses and receptionists in the hospital. Jerome had tears in his eyes at all the masses that surrounded his bed."



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