In recent weeks, the care of our homeless neighbors in the Gainesville community has been a hot topic, in part due to unanticipated loss of financial and volunteer support for Family Promise. Over the course of the last few years, Family Promise has faithfully served our community’s homeless children and their families in the hope of ending the cycle of family homelessness. It has also given people of faith in the Gainesville community a very meaningful way to love and serve our homeless neighbors face-to-face.
While the concerns that led to the withdrawal of support from Family Promise are real and deeply held by some, many churches, organizations and individuals of faith in the community have continued to pledge their support and increased their efforts in order to care for homeless children and their families. These churches, organizations and individuals should be commended for the way in which they have responded to this crisis. Lindsey McCamy, who is the Family Promise executive director, deserves praise as well for her faithful dedication to ending family homelessness in Hall County.
Caring for these homeless families in tangible and meaningful ways such as providing food, shelter and fellowship is very much an act of faith for those of us who continue to support Family Promise. My sincere and very strong hope is that this community will be one in which no homeless child or homeless family is ever turned away or denied compassionate care.
Having just hosted three families at First Presbyterian Church for almost two weeks straight, I have seen firsthand what a blessing Family Promise is to those families and volunteers alike.
I hope that in the days, weeks and months to come, others in the Hall County communities will offer or strengthen their support for Family Promise during a time when that support is needed most. For many of us, these endeavors to end homelessness are acts of faith.
I continue to hope and pray that we will see in this crisis an opportunity to practice that faith, to show our compassion, and to reach out with a love that extends even to those who are called the least of these.
the Rev. Lee Koontz
Senior Pastor, First Presbyterian Church, Gainesville