We are living in a time most of us have never experienced before. COVID has affected every single person, family, business, and church in so many ways that we couldn’t even imagine at the beginning of this year. The ways we live our daily lives have changed in big and small ways. It can be as simple as making sure we have a mask on when we go into a public place. Or, it can be as big as suddenly losing our income and the ability to pay our monthly rent. In so many ways, our daily routines, mental health, and sometimes physical health has been impacted these last few months.
I have the privilege of working on Berean’s behalf with families from our community who are going through a financial crisis. Berean’s Benevolent Ministry helps people in our church and our community by connecting them with local or financial resources. Even though it might seem small in light of the immense needs around us, Berean’s Benevolent Ministry continues to help one family at a time through their financial crisis.
Impact of COVID-19 on Families
Often these days, I am hearing stories of how COVID has impacted the lives of our friends and neighbors. Businesses are shutting down temporarily and some permanently, causing many people to lose their jobs. Schools are closing in person classes, leaving kids home full time with very few summer daycare programs. Single parents are forced to decide between staying home to take care of their kids or going out to work to provide for their family. Mental health conditions are worsening due to the stresses and restrictions resulting from COVID. These mental health issues are preventing people from returning to their jobs.
More than ever, people are struggling to keep up with their rent.
33% of households in Dakota County are predicted to be affected by unemployment by the end of summer 2020.
Dakota County estimates by the end of August 2020, 500 - 2,900 households will be at risk of becoming homeless.
When I hear these numbers, it saddens and overwhelms me. Being a mom of two children I can’t imagine facing homelessness and not being able to provide a safe place for my kids to sleep at night. My heart goes out to these families and personally, I want to find ways I can help.
Ways You Can Help
There are several incredible organizations from our community that are coming alongside these families during their crisis. There’s help available for many needs such as food, childcare, and employment as well as homelessness. (We have provided a list of organizations at the end of the post with links.)
Additionally, because homelessness is predicted to become an increasing problem in our community in the next few months, these two organizations could use your help in providing a safe place to stay.
Assisting people facing housing issues including homelessness as well as other needs such as school supplies, or pet resources, assistance with moving, laundry services, car repairs, and delivering food and groceries for those without transportation.
Linking homeless youth between the ages of 18 and 24 with host homes. Host homes are families that have a room available to house and support homeless youth. You can get involved by becoming a host home or supporting a host family with meals, transportation, clothes, etc.
To be connected with either the Dakota County’s Supportive Housing Unit or the YMCA, email me at Berean. I would love to help you get involved.
Everyone deserves to have a bed to sleep in at night and a place to call home. Jesus calls all of us to help the poor and needy around us.
For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me. And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ Matthew 25:35-36, 40
We All Have Something to Give
All of us can do something to help our neighbors. It might be hosting a young person in your home through the YMCA program, or it might be donating items to help Dakota County’s Supporting Housing Unit, provided much-needed resources to families in need.
Your personal contribution might seem small compared to the incredible needs around us. Just remember that’s Jesus has asked us to do – to love people through our actions; one family at a time. Our individual small efforts can help provide hope to one person or one family by giving them a safe place to sleep at night. Our collective efforts can change a community or neighborhood.
Our prayer is that the love and care our neighbors experience through us would lead them to experience the love of Jesus, the Savior of the world.
Organizations Helping Our Community
- Together for Good // Working with partners like you to ensure that vulnerable families and children never walk alone.
- Mission Outpost // The Prince of Peace community, in partnership with The Salvation Army, is connecting with people in need in the south metro area.
- 360 Communities // Building trusting relationships within our community, we provide stabilizing resources such as safe shelter, healthy food, housing support, and more to open pathways toward a successful future.
- The Open Door Pantry // Assisting thousands of local individuals each month through a variety of programs designed to connect those in need with fresh, nutritious food options.