When you live in Skid Row at a Rescue Mission it’s difficult to feel normal given the extreme conditions of the environment. Deed & Truth is trying to change that reality.
Feeling “less than” is a common problem for many people in society these days. That lack of self-worth is exasperated when you are under-resourced. It’s a given when you combine homelessness to the equation.
One of the most powerful contributing factors to feeling worthless is a disconnection to other functioning people. That’s a root cause of homelessness in Skid Row. Then, just for good measure, add two years of Covid restrictions at the mission for additional isolation. That adds up to mental health issues waiting to happen.
Deed & Truth got tickets to take six of the senior men at the Union Rescue Mission for a day at Knott’s Berry Farm this week. Four of them had never been to an amusement park before. One of them hadn’t been to Knott’s for 40 years.
The day was designed to get them out of the mission, out of skid row, and out of their abnormal environment if only for a day.
We believe God is a person who is joyful and wants his creation and family to experience joy. Joy finds it roots in a right relationship with God through Christ Jesus… but it finds its fulfillment in right, and healthy, relationships with others. At driving the Deed & Truth, we create opportunities where those who have experienced the desperate loneliness that leads to homelessness can experience the fulfillment of joy doing enjoyable things with others.
The goal of the day was simply to “have fun” doing something normal people do with others. It was a huge success. I was so touched just watching them interact with theme park environment and sharing that joy with each other.
At times they were so overwhelmed emotionally that they were like little children seeing and doing something completely out of their “ordinary.” They loved interacting with the characters in the Ghost town, they talked to the Blacksmith, the gunfighters, and even delivered a package for the “postman” to “City Hall” one street over. They felt like part of the show as they signed up to be citizens of Calico and got their picture taken with the “Mayor.”
Seth and Phillip enjoyed the Rollercoasters. The others watched, and filmed them, in amazement. They all enjoyed the bumper cars and Mining Train ride. And one side benefit, they all got in their 10,000 steps and some very beneficial exercise that’s hard to get living in Skid Row.
As always, we want to thank you personally for your financial support of Deed & Truth to make ministry opportunities like this a reality for some guys who really needed to just have fun being and doing what other people do and interacting with others who are also having healthy fun.
Joy is a healing ointment for humans. Your support provided practical, emotional healing to these six men this week. You made their week… more like their month… maybe even helped them create lasting memories to draw on the rest of their lives.