The righteous considereth the cause of the poor: but the wicked regardeth not to know it. (Proverbs 29:7)
Summary of proposed plan:
The Soldiers of the Cross Ministries was formed to help individuals fulfill the will of God for their lives in making a positive impact in their communities. By the grace of God we will help individuals start a new life in Christ and help them build on top of this foundation a good education, job training, credit restoration, positive outlook on life and other principles. We intend to partner with other Faith-Based & Community Initiatives, Homeward and other organizations to help remove the homeless from the benches and catapult them into becoming entrepreneurs, business owners, upper management positions, politicians and other significant areas. We strongly believe there are very important people living on the streets this very hour. Our organization plans to contribute fully to the prevention and elimination of homeless persons in Richmond by placing them into our transitional program and helping them to build a strong foundation for themselves, targeting spiritual development, physical and mental health, education and job placement, and community service involvement. Our organization will serve persons throughout the whole life spectrum; including homeless families, adults, and the elderly. Homeward (2006) notes in their statistics, 75% of homeless persons in the Richmond area are single adults, and 25% of homeless persons are in families. Special programs are also needed for homeless persons within families, in which our organization will also provide spiritual and family life counseling.
Surprisingly, there are approximately 1000 homeless persons in the Greater Richmond area at any given time (Homeward, 2006). This program should be funded because it will help get the homeless persons off of the streets in Richmond, Virginia, which has been a major problem for the past several years. This program will also provide services for our clients to improve their well-being and to help them transition into the home environment and their community.
This program will also promote a clean and safe environment for both the clients and community members by incorporating neighborhood watch programs, enhancing community development, implementing community service projects and encouraging community participation in helping to improve this area. Our organization also wants to improve the lives of our clients as well as community members by implementing health awareness programs in order to promote healthy living, and prevention of serious health conditions. Approximately 20% of the homeless population in Richmond reportedly has mental health conditions and many of these homeless persons struggle with alcohol and substance abuse as well. Generally, these problems are left untreated because of lack of knowledge of resources available, low self-esteem, and a sense of feeling as though these substances are an escape route for the problems they continue to face. This population also lacks the medical insurance/coverage to treat these health conditions. Our organization, in collaboration with other homeless and healthcare organizations will help to address these specific needs of our clients as well as community members for the purpose of prevention and treatment.
Addressing the educational, job placement and credit restoration needs of these homeless persons are also a need in order to help them transition from being homeless to owning their own affordable home. According to Homeward (2006), there are a high number of homeless persons in Richmond with a high school education or a GED (52%), some with college credits (29%), and even some with a bachelor’s degree or higher (7%). This is additional proof that these individuals are knowledgeable and capable of succeeding, these persons just need spiritual guidance, support, housing, and restoration time. With our transitional program in place, we will be able to provide them with all of these services, which will also be available for members in the community.
Astonishingly, 39% of the homeless people in Richmond are employed full-time, part-time, or temporary (Homeward, 2006). This proves that there is a need for these financial and credit restoration programs, in order to help them to establish their credit and manage their finances. This will help to ensure a successful transition into their affordable home.
1.) Bible teachings of the gospel of Christ, principles and doctrine to help start & mature a brand new promised-filled life.
2.) Obtain a Special Use Permit to renovate and transform 1423 Mechanicsville Turnpike (Vacant Property) into a Restoration Center (group home) of approximately 10-12 people.
3.) Obtain a building permit to put an additional building in the back of the house to be used for: bible study classes, education, community meetings, and a community resource for information.
4.) Three-year transitional program to help homeless make the transition from living on the streets to home ownership. Services include but not limited to: bible classes, health care, education, job placement and training, credit restoration, food, shelter and clothing. (We will use other organizations that are already in place to assist with these services).
5.) Obtain other properties to make additional Restoration Centers for the homeless
(We do not label these as shelters because this is not a permanent residence nor is it your typical shelter). Individuals that are admitted will not only have a place to stay but will be put through a thorough transitional program to help restore them back into the community as active working citizens. We like to think of it as a Spiritual Boot Camp. These restoration centers will also be a location for community service awareness programs for these homeless persons and the surrounding community for health promotion and prevention.
Goals for the successful completion of this three-year transitional program for our clients as well as community members will include successful spiritual development, improved community environment conditions, complete transition from homeless status to home ownership, active community participation and involvement, improved health conditions and demonstration of safe health practices, improved credit rating, demonstration of management of finances, enrollment in a health insurance plan, and an increased knowledge of available resources available for them in their community as well as in the City of Richmond. This program will also help the client to become more health conscious and continuously promote healthy practices for the promotion of better health within this community. By the end of this program the client will also have increased their education status and a permanent job to meet their needs for when they transition into their own home. A two-year follow-up plan will be implemented as well to evaluate success and offer additional support if needed.
Holy Bible, King James Version
Homeward (2006). Retrieved September 7, 2006