any people when thinking of a homeless person see the image of a grizzled old man who has had a drinking problem. At one time that image was more often than not, a correct one. Yet, more and more the homeless look just like the rest of us.
The homeless people we house sometimes have college and graduate degrees; and some cannot read past the first grade level. Some are mentally ill, addicted to drugs or alcohol addicted; and others are dedicated Christians who have never used any addictive drug. Many have worked in highly skilled professional jobs; and others have not worked in as long as they can remember. Many are veterans with distinguished service records; others have been disqualified from the military for a variety of reasons.
While definitive demographics are not available since those who are homeless often do not want to be counted, the picture of the homeless nationwide looks similar to this:
- 35% of the homeless are families with children
- 30% are women
- 30% of the homeless have jobs
- 61% are Caucasian
- 17% are African -American
- 16% are Hispanic
HOW CAN I HELP?
- Show them kindness and respect.
Your smile can be a break in the isolation and hopelessness that many of them live with every day. Treating the homeless with courtesy can give them the energy to begin to lift themselves out of a bad situation. It tells them they are not invisible!
- Don't give money.
Money won't solve their problem. It can be used to buy drugs or alcohol. It may help them to avoid facing the root causes of their problems for just one more day. Instead, give them certificates to restaurants. Or better yet, direct them to our Mission or another shelter where they can get help to begin the journey out of hopelessness.
- Pray for them.
God loves every homeless person regardless of how they may look or act. He expects us to love them, too. Pray for those you meet. You may even pray with them; but remember some of the homeless are fearful, angry and paranoid so always respond to them with your own safety needs in mind.
- Teach others to care.
Help others, especially young people, to understand and to care about those who are homeless. Whether at home, work or church, the Lord may be calling you to tell others what you "have had ears to hear and eyes to see."
- Volunteer your time and talents.
The Mission uses a wide variety of volunteers. Some lead worship, others teach Bible studies, many serve meals, paint our facilities, drive vans and serve in many other ways. Get involved and bring your family and friends with you!
- Donate household items.
A phone call to us is all that is needed to schedule a pickup of your donation of "gently used" items. We also receive your donations at the mission location at 1701 W. 13th Street, Sanford. We supply clothing and household goods to our residents as well as to the poor in the community.
- Contribute financially.
In a typical year, 70% of our income comes from donations from people like you. Some people give $2.00 a week, some give $25.00 a month, while others make one large gift each year. However you are led to participate, please know that we are very grateful for any gift and we will be good stewards of it.
News and Updates
The Sanford Herald: Rescue Outreach Mission updates facilities, services
The most recent additions include a playground and learning center, as well as renovating the children’s playroom, all of which are inside the Open Door Shelter for Women and Children.
The Sanford Herald: Wicklow 11-year-old collects toothbrushes for homeless kids
John Loso spent his summer a little differently than most children his age. After a successful toothbrush charity drive at his elementary school in May, the 11-year-old decided to continue his efforts during the summertime.
The Sanford Herald: 7-year-old girl produces cookbook to benefit Rescue Outreach Mission
Another child has come forward with a mission to help Sanford with its homeless after viewing the episode of “60 Minutes” documenting the homeless of Orlando.
Rescue Outreach Mission of Central Florida is an equal opportunity employer. In order to be considered for employment, an application must be filed. Applications will remain on file for three months from the date of issue and are reviewed for positions as they become available. Rescue Outreach Mission of Central Florida is a faith based organization.