What are some common misconceptions about homelessness?
• They aren't trying to better themselves/their situation
• That helping them only makes them more dependent
• If I ignore them, they'll go away
• They are really only interested in drugs/alcohol
• They are all aggressive/violent
• They are con-artists
• They are not from my community
• That having certain things (smartphone, decent shoes, a vehicle, etc) means they aren't really in need.
• They don't have/desire a relationship with Jesus (because if they did, then...)
• They're all crazy.
• That I have to go into downtown Houston to help
What may I do to help?
Gateway offers two great opportunities each month to minister to homeless people (and be ministered to by them) through providing a meal, spending time with them and getting to know them. These opportunities are:
• Serving with Gateway at Church Under the Bridge on the third Friday evening of each month. Contact James Audirsch at 832-419-5147 for more information.
• Serving with Gateway at The Mercy Tree on the second Saturday afternoon of each month. Contact Donna Attoe at for more information.
Here are some other great ways you can help:
• Donate travel-sized toiletries (soap, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, toothpaste), toothbrushes, razors, deodorant, socks, washcloths and insect repellent during our Homeless Ministry Toiletries Drive, July 10 and 17 (or anytime)! Look for collection bins around Gateway during the drive and outside of Gateway’s Missions & Outreach office anytime.
• Bring yourself or your family to help pack these donations of toiletries into “Blessing Bags” at our “Family Service Project” the evening of July 24 at Gateway.
• Give Mercy Tree schedules to homeless people you encounter on street corners/traffic lights. (These are available at the Next Steps area.)
• Become a prayer partner with The Mercy Tree or 1000 Hills/Church Under the Bridge.
• Consider volunteering, especially during non-peak seasons (Holidays, etc)
• Beyond making any commitments to particular ministries...
o Acknowledge them, say hello, smile, if you encounter one, treat them with the same kindness and dignity you would anyone else. A simple wave and “hello” goes a long way.