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Homeless need love too

The Christian Car Guy / Robby Dilmore
The Truth Network Radio
February 24, 2024 12:44 pm

Homeless need love too

The Christian Car Guy / Robby Dilmore

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February 24, 2024 12:44 pm

Guest host Bill Nixon takes over for Christian Car Guy and talks about City with Dwellings 

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Hi, this is Roy Jones with ManTalk Radio Podcast. Our mission is to break down the walls of race and denomination. Your chosen Truth Radio Broadcast will be starting in just a few seconds. Thank you. Welcome to the Christian Car Guy Radio Show. I say this calls for action and now. Well, good morning.

This is Bill Nixon. I have the pleasure of filling in for Robbie Dilmore this morning who was at a conference all week. First Saturday of the month I get to be his co-host and on occasion when he can't make it I have the honor and privilege to do the show.

And this Saturday I had an exceptionally special occasion in that I got to choose my guest. There is an organization that I had the greatest respect for. Those that work there are heroes to me. When COVID shut down churches and government agencies and nonprofits, City with Dwellings not only stayed open, their workload dramatically increased and the need for their services increased in importance. And their staff not only stayed but they stepped up to deal with all the additional problems that came with it.

And I have Mark Dockery with me. Mark works with City with Dwellings. They work with the homeless.

And his expertise is to go out and see all those campsites that you can barely see driving down the highway and back in the woods and places that you don't see. And you would be amazed even in the middle of the city we had this great big tree next to a major road and under that tree there are three or four tents set up. If you turn your radar on you'll realize that they're a whole lot more homeless just at the edge of your site everywhere you go. We also have a whole lot of people in the country that are living out of their cars. A lot of the folks that are living out of their cars are working somewhere making some money and some of them get by other ways. But Mark would you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got to work at City with Dwellings?

Certainly. I am the Director of Outreach at City with Dwellings and I started working with the homeless 10 years ago. I was working part-time at a local shelter as a monitor. When I left there I started volunteering with City with Dwellings and they brought me on part-time as a transportation person.

So I would take a lot of our homeless people to various clothing closets, food closets if they needed to go get their ID, anything to help them out including their doctor's appointments. And then when COVID hit and we started our COVID hotel with the partnership of another local shelter I pretty much came on full-time then as a transportation person because it was a medically fragile hotel. So everybody in the hotel had medical issues and I was transporting them back and forth to their doctor's appointments.

And then in September that year I became part of the outreach team and that's when I started going out on the field under the bridges, in the woods, everywhere you can think of I'm out there looking for the people. Now let's step back when they went to the hotel. How many folks did they have in the hotel? Oh I want to say it was like 60 rooms they had.

So we had 60 people on the street during COVID that they're scared to death that they would catch it and if they caught it we were absolutely sure they were going to die and we got the money. Was it the dwelling that got the money? City with Dwellings and Bethesda Center both partnered with that. And they brought all these people that were homeless and put them in not the best hotel sit down and had a place where all the services could be brought to those folks and those folks could be transported. And my understanding that that group of people you really didn't have high hopes for did very very well. They did very well actually yet it was actually a very successful project we learned a lot from it.

We are taking some of the what we've learned and trying to build our own program around that as well. Now when the the grant for the hotel rooms was going to run out you had a big problem on your hand didn't you? Yes. Which was? Which was where to put everybody.

Absolutely it had to be a god thing. They found a couple really huge low-income apartment complexes that had units that were so unbelievably dilapidated that they had no plans to ever use them again. And this organization brought in volunteers from all over the state to refurbish that I'm not even sure that's the right word to totally destroy a put back together. It was a total reconstruction.

It was there were days when I said if we survive this COVID's nothing. Right exactly exactly and there's actually a lady who was with United Way at the time also who helped lead that up too. So her and Emily who was also with Citywood Dwellings she's now with the dwelling those two really headed it up and just went full force and totally just it was a total reconstruction process and if it had not been for that most of those people from the hotel may be back on the street but at the time. If lucky that it only been on the street right now you know we just did something called the point in time count put on by HUD which how about explaining exactly what that is and why it's important. The point in time count in order for the city of Winston-Salem to get funding from HUD at least every other year they have to have what's called a point in time count. It's usually we usually try to do it every year but the point in time count is one night a year where volunteers will go out and literally to the sites and around and just try to get a good count of how many people are on the street so that you get try to get a name and race and age range of the people that are out there and that way we can report to HUD here's how many people we know are on the street. So when you hear on the news that we've got 2% more vets on the street or they're 12% more people under 18 homeless that's where this information comes from. Exactly exactly and I will say this that particular night is not the most accurate however we're given a little leeway of like seven days to get more accurate information so I have with from that time frame in that time frame I can ask people where did you stay at that night and if they stayed on the street then I can count them within that seven days so I do have a seven day time frame for that which is very helpful because there's just no way to get to everyone in one night in that time frame. Now why this is important is the federal government and the state government divvy up the money they have allocated for the homeless based on how many homeless they think are in a particular zip code so that if HUD says to one particular county we think you have x number of homeless if they don't go out and count which they had the right not to then they're settling on the numbers that HUD gives them but if HUD says you've got a hundred homeless out on the street and a hundred homeless in shelters and a hundred homeless in treatment programs and you say boy that number is wrong we think it's a whole lot higher than that then you've got to go out and interview the people to prove that the number is a whole lot higher than that. When I did this two years ago I was thinking we had 200 people on the street and you were telling me you thought we had how many people living under the stars now? Last year close to well we had about 270 people on the list that I personally keep and I would say right now I'm at close to 310 I think on my list I could easily push that to 400 if I could actually verify some of the people who call in and but I mean it's gonna be close to 400. Now those are the folks on the street in addition to that we've got people in the Samaritan ministries we've got people in the Winston-Salem Rescue Mission we've got people in a number of a number of other programs that's about a hundred bids close to yes and then you have people in treatment programs like wings of a dove and a holly house and that's probably another hundred at least so there are lots of folks when you say hey I got a bag of cookies for you I'm from city wood dwellings they don't actually come talk to you do you exactly they really don't so you've seen the back side of probably another hundred people that aren't in that number exactly okay so you know we've got 700 to a thousand homeless people in Forsyth County and then we've got a flow of people that sort of come through and it's amazing the folks that we've talked to that said I came on the bus I got off the bus I wandered away to get something to eat and you know that bus didn't wait on me right and I don't know what to do and they come in and we work with them we actually have some organizations that send people by Uber long distances let's skip over the county next to us we heard Forsythe's doing a pretty good job and they drop them off the really weird one that gets me is the people that I've met that have gone into our prison system and they're from the east they're down on the coast and they end up in Forsyth County with absolutely nothing right and them having to figure out how in the world do I find my brother who I hope still alive down in Swansbrook exactly we had one guy I'll never forget this he's a really cool dude he just showed up on our steps one day and I looked at me and said what is happening he says well I just got out of jail from West Virginia and they sent me down here it's amazing we had one guy had one person that was let out of the hospital and showed up with an ear machine at the front door that wasn't even charged we'll get back to that in just a second thanks for tuning in you're listening to the truth network and truthnetwork.com well welcome back you're here with the christian car guys show robbie dillmore is just finishing up a convention and this is william mixon bill mixon I was offered the opportunity to come in and co-host host the show today we're a call-in show our number is 866-348-7884 866-348-7884 we've got Mark Dockery here who's part of city with dwellings he's an outreach expert working with the homeless and I wanted him to come on the show and talk about all the homeless that live in their cars there's a surprising number and a lot of those folks that live in their cars have jobs and a lot of the folks that are homeless that have children are working out of their cars share a couple stories in which your your perception of the homeless in the vehicles is yeah there's actually quite a few out there and I wish I could give you a number but I can't simply because it is so hard to keep track of people who are living in the cars because they don't park in the same spot all the time there's one lady that I try to keep up with and she's actually has two jobs and she just goes from one job to the other and sleeps in her car in the parking lot of the jobs that she's working at so she's making okay money but it's still just not enough for the rent prices the way they are there's also very a lot of families I got a call the other day from a 20 year old who has a one-year-old and a six-month-old living in their car and they've been living in the car for about a week so it is a huge population is starting to stay in their cars now and is like I said it's very very difficult to keep up with that particular population I remember I was doing a point in time count one time and met this gentleman who was rather well dressed and sleeping in his car and he was a assistant manager for a major restaurant chain and we's talking and basically he said I owe child support and the child support is important to me and by the time I pay my child support I don't have the money to be able to get any type of housing you know the best I've pieced together is if you've got seven hundred dollars seven hundred dollars is pretty much the sweet spot if you're getting a SSI check right then if you can find something for seven hundred dollars then you've got affordable housing right but everything in our area today even the the the places I wouldn't want to live in are running fourteen hundred dollars a month for one bedroom it is difficult to find an apartment in this area under a thousand dollars so affordable housing 500 would be great because a lot of our people who are on the fixed income they don't make more than a 900 a month so if you got an apartment that is eight nine hundred that's their whole check gone within a month so then then what did they do so that's another reason why there's a lot of people I was talking to a couple last week she is 75 and he's 80 and they're currently living in a van um maybe they had a hotel room for that night but they're currently in the van for about a week or two because he had some financial issues and just could not afford the hotel but they've been in a they've been living in the hotel for about a year now they're in the van so it's I mean they make decent money but at the same time they don't make enough to qualify for a regular apartment now I'm gonna at one time in the United States there was an awful lot of leaded gas there was an awful lot of pipes put together with letter lead solder there were a lot of cans that were put together with lead there was paint lead-based paint and if you go study it the lead poisoning that everybody in the nation we were breathing in drinking and eating this stuff really messed with a lot of people's heads if you look the the violent assaults the the murders were very very very high for a long time until we started putting catalytic converters on cars and getting rid of the leaded gas and getting rid of the the leaded paint and we filled up all our mental health centers and then in 1975 the ACLU won a supreme court case that basically said if you were in a mental health center and you didn't want to stay it wasn't legal to force you to stay and in 1976-77 the mental health centers emptied out and if you will look the incarceration rate went through the roof right after that the homeless numbers went through the roof right after that the deaths with illegal drugs overdoses went through the roof right after that we have a lot of people on the streets in the woods behind our houses that aren't mentally capable of holding a job exactly we've got people that if you put them in an apartment and you pay for that apartment and they got a check coming in that they don't have the wherewithal to make the payment to pay the utility bills to go to the grocery store to figure out what to buy to cook a meal they don't have the life skills they just don't have the life skills we housed one guy he had literally been living in a tent for about 20 some years he's 76 now he was housed for almost a year he was evicted because of his apartment smelled so bad that it was stinking up the whole apartment building and they literally had to wear hazmat suits to clean out his apartment when he evicted clean out his apartment when he evicted now you were telling me a story there was a fellow that was a special forces ranger that was living in a tent and you were walking down the trail and there was a pile of garbage yes yes um yeah he was in a pile of garbage and um i just saw somebody must be around here and i kind of poked the garbage and he just pops up says hey how did you find me but he was one of those guys who was out there you would not find him unless he wanted to be found there are a lot of people that you look at on the side of the road and you say boy he should just get a job and i'm trying to get it through your mind that for a large portion of those folks that really isn't an option a lot of those folks get a check a monthly check um for ssdi or ssi one of the two and if they get a job there's this narrow little teeny tiny window where they can make a little bit of money it's usually about 20 and if they make a dollar more than that they absolutely ruin their life so pray about them think about ways that you can make a difference and we'll talk about that when we come back we appreciate you staying tuned in give us a call eight six six three four eight seven eight eight four you're listening to the truth network and truthnetwork.com you know sometimes in the breaks we had these absolutely wonderful conversations that i'm sorry you missed um you know there are a lot of people that we have bumped into that we have talked to that we have tried to help that look just like your brother that look just like your uncle i've got some family members nephews that you know they had all kinds of problems and my heart goes out for these folks that really want to fix their situation and some of these people are really great people on monday tuesday and wednesday we've got an opportunity for two hours for people to come in they've got use of phones they've got use of computers and there's uh 35 to 70 people that get coffee and yet your most prized possession is your phone and it always amazes me the people that set their phone out and don't worry about it of course you'd also be amazed at how many telus their phones get stolen other places i always thought that one you should have to keep your phone number i like the idea that they get phones it makes the world run better but they need to be tied to you in some way that you can't even take them off in the shower a couple instances of folks that you've bumped into the car that that were just um bad timing just bad situation there there's a few of those um like so that one particular family that i bumped into a few months ago it was the lady it was actually her mom and her daughter and the daughter was six years old and she had just lost her job and just i mean she was trying to take care of both her mom and her daughter and just lost her job and could not afford the rent so she was evicted from that um i get calls from the school system about people who like like i got a mother here who's sleeping in her car and the two kids are sleeping in the car with her what do we do and it's usually because of either either a loss of a job or they're going through a divorce of some sort but there's usually some sort of financial hardship where they just can't afford a place to stay the bible says jesus said be generous to the poor and everything will be clean for you james listen my beloved brother has not god chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom yet some of the folks that i have met at citywood dwellings and the dwellings some of the homeless are the most loving and caring and compassionate and look after each other and now i'm not saying all it's a whole lot nicer place a very rare i even hear a bad word said but some of them are some of the nicest most respectful if they only had five dollars they'd give you three right right um i'll share this to you when i was working at the um shelter as a monitor um there was one time when the person who was supposed to come in after me did not come in and i had only eaten breakfast that morning so i was not prepared to eat stay there the whole day and i literally had five people who were homeless staying in that shelter walk up to me and said mark have you eaten no and they all brought me food they brought me food and because they were there they all seemed to have this need to take care of somebody or something and um that's that's really a big theme they take care of each other they watch out for each other they are a community and that's one of the things that citywood dwellings is doing is really building community james said if a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food and one says to you go in peace be warm warmed and filled without giving them the things necessary for the body what good is it so also faith by itself if it does not have works is dead matthew the king will reply truly i tell you whatever you did for one of the least of my brothers and sisters you did for me uh matthew lord when did we see you hungry and feed you or thirsty and give you drink when did we see you as a stranger and take you in or naked and clothe you when did we see you sick or in prison and come to you jesus said i tell you because you do not do it to one of the least of these you did not do it for me we've got a responsibility it's a christian network there i'm assuming a lot of you folks got bibles around we've got a responsibility when we see people in need to help them now i think we've got a responsibility to tell everybody in the world to come but i think that when we have the opportunity to help somebody that right is right in front of us that we're called to do that we're supposed to be a time of refreshing we're supposed to be a light on the hill we're supposed to be jesus's hands now i don't like the idea of handing a homeless person five bucks and we drive by no but i do believe in having a care package in a gallon-sized plastic baggie in my back seat mark what do you think yeah i totally agree with that i always suggest never giving out cash of any sort if it's a gift card or something they can use that's a different story mainly because you just don't know where that cash is going to go to offer to buy them food that's usually how i gauge it if i find see somebody that i don't know who's homeless and they got the sign or panhandling and they say you know need food or need money i will offer them hey can i come over here buy you some food if they say no they just want the cash then that usually means they're going to take that cash for something that they really shouldn't be using it for so i totally agree with that the other thing too is approaching someone like that and i'm i just want to put this out there too when he's talking about we have that responsibility right i think the other responsibility too is to not pity them but actually see them as the person who just needs help i see a lot of people approaching our homeless and they have that oh you poor soul and yeah they may be in a bad situation but that's not the best way to approach that person that is actually going to put that person on the defensive and it could easily escalate into a bad situation when you're at when it's approached that way so you know if you see someone who's on the street and you would like to help them hey how you doing today man um you look like you're in a bad situation what can i what can i offer you right now can i offer you a gift card some food you know what what what do you need right now now the other thing you can do is you can check and the library might be a good place to start what are the resources that are available in your county in your city you know you're going to have to do that in your city there may be a really great pamphlet already created that you can get copies of or you can download and copy on your copier or you can put together so in that gallon size bag it's good to have a list of the resources where you can go to get a meal where you can go to get food where you can go to get clothes the mental health facilities that are available the homeless available how to tune into mental health assistance and to have that in there you might have a separate bag with your church's name and phone number on it a bottle of water is a good idea a snack that doesn't have to be cooked like nabs or veena sausages anything that's non-perishable and then a coupon to a fast food restaurant you got a lot of mcdonald's in your area that would be a good one i also highly challenge don't just put anybody in your car no i mean there are a couple occasions that that went so wrong that i had to swear to my wife that i'd never do that again so you know to roll your window down halfway with the door locked and say you know i'd be glad to buy you breakfast if you walk up to that restaurant right there right and then meet them at the restaurant sit down and have a talk with them if you don't have time for that you can say here's a bag now i put a little gideon bible in the bag that i give them uh there are churches in your area that are more likely to work with homeless than yours might be and you might find out which different organizations have a heart for the homeless and that you could put their name and phone number in the bag one good project would be for your small group for your bible study for your church to put those bags together and get all your members to keep two or three of those bags in their car and to be praying for the homeless that you see other thing i know there are a lot of folks out there they're really messy yeah there's a lot of folks that i hear you i want the cops to come move them out and our city does a good job of moving folks out but they move them from one spot to another spot so i'm sort of wondering if it might not be a bad idea to go out with about five or six really big garbage bags and say look i'll give you some coupons to the local restaurant if you'll pick up all this trash and carry the the bags up to a dumpster somewhere what can you do to be a light on the hill in a time of refreshing is there a shelter in the area that you can be a part of that you can reach out and you can contribute there is there a way for the groups that you have that come together where that you can make a difference the problem's going to get bigger yes it is right now there are lots of people that are one small emergency away from being homeless you have one late bill and then the fees stacked on top of that and then the banks fees on top of that one small financial problem can cause hundreds of dollars of need that can't be met and we've both talked to people that were doing just fine just barely hanging on but one small financial problem put them on the street we'll be right back you're listening to the truth network and truthnetwork.com thank you for tuning in we're so glad that you're here we want you to lift up Robbie as his travels from the convention he was at we'd like you to lift up the radio station we'd like you to pray for city with dwellings and the dwelling church and the homeless in your area when you're praying think about what you can do how you and your church and your small group can make a difference in your community because you've got a responsibility you're an ambassador for Christ if you've got Jesus in your heart you've got responsibilities as some of those responsibilities are to make a difference in your community it's easy to look at folks that you think should be able to just pick themselves up and solve their life's problems but you don't know what their problems are and a lot of these people have mental problems that make it almost impossible to do the things that you and I can do so they need your assistance mark share a story or two about some folks some success stories you've seen yes we have some really good success success stories you know people who have been housed a couple of people i'm thinking of right now there was a one couple who was living in an abandoned building for almost a year and they were housed sadly he has passed away due to some health complications he had but she still has the place and i mean she's still going strong which is it was it really took an act of God to get them into this place because of all the red tape that had to go through and they just they were just great people so i have a lot of stories like that where i mean somebody who's been living in a tent for many years but one one lady who's still housed she was actually living on a sidewalk and it was kind of heartbreaking when i moved her into her place because she's unpacking and then she picks up this can of lysol and she looks at it and she looks at it and she goes which room do i put this in it's been so long since i've had my own place i don't even know where to put my stuff so though those are times for me when i'm i feel really blessed because i can actually work with these people these people and say hey you know you can put the kitchen the bathroom whatever and really help them develop some new skills to live on their own now i don't know about you i do know about you most of you have some family members that aren't that far removed that have some emotional psychological problems most of you have neighbors where you've known people that you went to school with that as they aged some of these problems materialized and their life got more difficult some of you have children that have gone through all kinds of drug and alcohol problems and you know how in the world it came about i don't know i don't know if i did something wrong i don't know what could have been done different but some of you have children that have taken their lives i have known people that had absolutely wonderful jobs and looking at them there's absolutely no way that you would expect them to go into the new house that they bought and hang themselves there are people out there that need a little bit of love there are people out there that need an opportunity to talk to you to share their story with you and a lot of times you don't have the answer but the fact that you're just willing to listen the the fact that you're just willing to take a little bit of your time and ask somebody that was on the side of the street to walk up to that restaurant and sit down and have a meal with you in almost every case that i've seen that during that conversation god would put a name a face somebody in my mind that i was more skilled and more able to take care of the situation they were in and i was able to hook them up we've got a responsibility to be christ on this planet we've got a responsibility to do everything we can to make life easier for those around us because those are the opportunities that give us a chance to cheer about jesus you have a responsibility to tell people why you've got a faith in christ why other people should accept jesus as their savior and if they don't see you as a light on the hill at a time of refreshing if you're not making a difference in their life why should they listen to you and if they're hungry or they don't have clothes or they don't know what they're going to do for their child you can tell them everything you want to tell them they're not in a position to hear some of the neatest things i've seen down at city with dwellings is the staff and what a good job they do list i mean christa is just bizarre to me i just love the peace that sort of surrounds surrounds her and the folks that can just come up and just being in her presence and lee lee can sit there and listen to a conversation and figure out the the parts that she's got to pay attention to and remember the conversation she's had to lead people in the right direction tell me a little bit about the other staff members well the other staff members we have carlos who's with the heart project um he is just one of the coolest dudes out there and also plays saxophone and um he just has a very laid-back presence that that whenever around him i just have this total comfort around him and that's another reason why people can talk to him as well uh we have tanisha who also does our women's group there and i think that's pretty much i can't remember who else we all we have right now we've had huh chris that's right chris chris is one of our newest people he does he's actually taken over my transportation part um i don't do as much transportation but he has just a really cool way with people as well um so all of us together we make a really great team because we pretty much work off each other's skills uh you know my skill set i'm usually the one who's really blunt with the people and tell them how that is and like hey look a b c d and this is it but at the same time i do it in a way that's loving to them in a way where that's not offended right so and then when i tell them this and then they go over here to lee or chris or something like well mark said this well yeah that's true and then they'll expand a little bit more so we work on each other in that way and which makes us a great team you also have a lot of volunteer opportunities some really neat folks i mean you've got some retired ministers that come in and work you've got some folks that have been in mental health and retired you've got some folks that come in and you know make coffee uh that do the mail room and just sit and talk with people um yeah that's that's the main thing right there with volunteering just coming in and talk to people the people who come in to see us they want to be heard they have a story to tell of some sort um and just to have that presence and somebody talking to them and where they actually feel heard and that's one of the biggest things with our population that's on the street they don't feel like they're being heard they they have um some self-worth issues that need to be helped on some value issues as well coming to us listening to their story and getting their experience helps build their character as well and that's a big step in helping them get off the street i want you to google city with dwellings winston-salem and there's all kinds of really interesting information on the programs that this organization has put together you also can google the dwelling church winston-salem and see all the programs that they're doing to help the homeless in their community if you're in this area there are all kinds of opportunities at the winston-salem rescue mission um the samaritan ministries holly house but if you're in another area i'm sure there's some facilities there that you can get hooked up to the public library is a good place to start call them up and say i'd like to know what programs are set up in our area to help the homeless um there are also some national programs that you can contact the federal government has a web page that you can go on and list your information and they will tell you what organizations are available we appreciate you tuning in we ask you to tune back in and if you're in a position to join us in the next hour for kingdom pursuits we'd love to hear you uh call in and let us know what you think please pray for this station and robbie and for the homeless in your community remember you're god's light everywhere you go so this is the truth network
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-24 15:22:06 / 2024-02-24 15:36:00 / 14

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