The possibility of being homeless is actually very real. Think about it: One bad decision, one economic bubble burst, one incapacitating illness or a major disability. The potential of becoming homelessness should humble us all.
We began caring for the eye sight of the homeless in November 2013 and to date we have helped approximately 240 people obtain excellent eye exams and prescription eye glasses.
Also, we have been able to help four individuals obtain the surgical services necessary to correct extreme cataracts and glaucoma.
Over the last several years we have distributed approximately 100,000 lbs. of non-perishable food to the homeless and indigent in our tri-city area. Although the bulk of our distribution takes place on only several days a month, throughout the month we deliver food to those who cannot get out or to those who do not have a way to obtain food otherwise.
Since March 2016 we have been able to obtain large quantities of diapers and pull-ups which we distribute to homeless and indigent mothers and the elderly. In the 21 months of being involved in distribution of diapers, we have provided approximately 19,000 diapers to those mothers and elderly in need.
Our Transitional Housing Project is a longer term undertaking than any of the other outreach efforts that we have or currently engage in.
Our program will give us the opportunity to move a homeless individual off the streets or from a homeless shelter into a house that will satisfy their basic need to have “a safe place”.
The product and services to be rendered will be solely for homeless individuals who have demonstrated areal desire to escape the downward spiral of homelessness and who are full time or part time employed
To mark a wonderful beginning to a new year, Homeland Disciples (HLD) was presented with a grant form Langley for Families to assist us in our efforts in providing transitional housing for the homeless.
As a means of reaching and assisting the homeless residing in our local parking lots, Homeland Disciples takes our “Conversation Station” to the parking lots and offers a home like atmosphere, a hot meal and conversation to the many “parking lot residents”.
Pictured here is (L-R): Debbie Roth (HLD), David Livingston (Director of Transitional Housing for HLD), Betsy Scott (Langley for Families), Bob Roth (Pastor, HLD) and one of our “parking lot residents”.
The miracles that God performs comes to us in varying ways and at varying times; sometimes not as quickly as we'd like.
Earlier this year we began a journey with a super nice man to have a cataract removed from his right eye. As you can see ,the cataract has been successfully removed and has resulted in perfect vision for the patient.
Thank you Coastal Vision and Virginia Eye Consultants for being the hands and feet of a God miracle.
Over the last several years we have distributed approximately 100,000 lbs. of non-perishable food to the homeless and indigent in our tri-city area. Although the bulk of our distribution takes place two days per month, throughout the month we deliver food to those who cannot get out or to those who do not have a way to obtain food otherwise.
Our food supply is typically stored in a multiple unit storage facility where it is properly sorted and inventoried for distribution.
The picture you see above is just an example of a typical house we'd expect to purchase for our transitional house. We DO NOT own this house.
Since the beginning of 2016 Homeland has been fundraising to actually purchase a house as soon as we have enough funds to make an "all cash" purchase. Silly? Maybe by some thoughts, yes. But in all actuality, not silly at all. You see, the folks that we get to move into the house will be employed, even if for as little as 30 hours per week. So they will be getting a paycheck. We will be imposing a 30% rent fee for each of the 3-4 residents which will just pay operating costs of the house, applicable taxes, insurances, utilities and maintenance items. In the event we have a surplus, those funds will be saved for any unforeseen repairs or major appliance purchases.
To date we have had two local businesses come and stand beside us in our fundraising efforts; Coastal Vision making very generous monthly donations to our cause and Langley for Families Foundation making a generous and greatly appreciated yearly donations. With their help and with our efforts we have accumulated approximately 30% of the funds needed to make an "all cash" purchase.
Fundraising for our Transitional House is definitely not limited to business. You can help as well and your donations and support is very important
Since March 2016 we have been able to obtain large quantities of diapers and pull-ups which we provide to homeless and indigent mothers. Since being able to distribute diapers and children’s pull-ups, we have provided approximately 12,600 diapers to mothers not having the adequate resource to properly care for their infant and toddler children.
In late 2016, we began receiving calls from several home health nurses asking if there was any way that we could obtain and supply pull-ups to some of the elderly in our community, citing that their lack of resource was alarming. Although adult pull-ups are hard for us to obtain, we have been successful in obtaining a sufficient quantity of adult pull-ups to help several elderly women.
At the onset of the ministry in late 2013, Homeland Disciples had already seen the need to be able to provide food to the homeless community, especially for lunch. Not having the financial resources or the facility to provide a cooked meal for the noon hour, Homeland undertook an alternative path to make and distribute bag lunches to those in need.
We began this program in downtown Norfolk providing 110 bag lunches per week on a Sunday afternoon. Over time we were able to add other much needed items to our distributions; non-perishable food, pillow, blankets, clothes, back-packs, and shoes. Over 1 ½ years we distributed nearly 2000 bag lunches plus tons of other needed items to the community. Since March of 2015 our bag lunch distributions have been center in South Norfolk where we have been able to provide approximately 12000 bag lunches to the homeless and indigent in the surrounding community.
First let us state that not all homeless live in a camp site in the woods.
Some homeless people live on the streets or in the woods. Some homeless people are fortunate enough to find a cheap hotel that they can rent for several nights a month. Some homeless people sleep in cars. And some homeless people find friends that will let them crash and "couch surf". Some homeless people sleep on benches in the park. And some homeless people make a place like a park their home (so to speak).
Regardless of the location where they bed down or hang out during the day, the daily existence of a homeless person is extremely hard and debilitating.
They deal with the heat, cold, rain, wind, snow, winds, hurricanes, flooding, mosquitoes, ants, ticks, chiggers, critters and the po-po every day.
Ever thought of this? "I need to pee, where can I go?" We have no problem pulling in to a Micky D's and jumping out. But a homeless person soon wears out his access to the fast food restrooms or the grocery stores. In the camp site setting, most homeless residents use one of those orange buckets we are familiar with, keeping it covered and dumping it when needed.
As a Christian based ministry, we facilitate regular Bible Study's for the homeless.
Sharing and teaching God's Word with the homeless and indigent we encounter daily is the biggest benefit that we gain from all the work we do. We believe that the absolute greatest question a person can ask is: "If I die, where will I go?" Our goal is to be there for that person and tell them what God says about our inevitable eternity.
And for those who have resolved the question of Salvation for themselves, between them and God, and have chosen to follow the LORD Jesus their Savior, we have the privilege leading them into a deeper relationship with Christ by studying His Word.
We experience the great joy that comes in helping other people discover truths from God’s word, the Bible and seeing how God uses that Word in their Spiritual growth.
If you have taken the time to look over all the other stuff we do, you hopefully will ask yourself “what else is there?” Well, our mantra so to speak is to help people. And when there is a natural disaster close enough to drive to, we normally try and carve out meaningful time to go and help. So far, we have been to help with: 1) Atlantic City to help hurricane victims, 2) Moore OK, to help with tornado victims, 3) Baxter Springs, KS, to help tornado victims, and 4) Lumberton, NC to help flood victims.
And in our off times, we love going to Sous Savanne, Haiti to help some of villagers continue their unraveling from the 2010 earthquake.
Our Board of Directors had just concluded a three day fast, seeking God’s face for direction and funding guidance. At the conclusion of the fast, we didn’t have any clear, or actually even murky answers to our prayers. That is until the day after, where we began to discuss this man we didn’t have time or the place to talk with. Our initial thoughts were to purchase a step van, similar to a bread truck and renovate it into a vehicle that we could drive around, invite people to step in and just sit and talk or even just sit in and not talk. We quickly decided that purchasing a step van and renovating it would be far too expensive and besides we didn’t have those funds. Next, we thought of used RV’s. Not large ones, not a motor homes of any sort, but maybe a pull behind trailer type that would be already equipped and low price as well. After searching we found a fairly new RV trailer that the current owner needed to sell and was offering the RV for less than he owed on it and far less than the NADA book value. At the same time, God was busy making the necessary donation available that would be required for us to make the purchase. Homeland soon became a loan-free owner of a 21-foot RV trailer, complete with sitting area, sink, stove, refrigerator, HVAC, dining area, sink and vanity, tub/shower combo, lavatory, two beds, AM/FM/Bluetooth radio, and topping it off, an outdoor patio area with outdoor speakers. Praise the LORD.
On Sunday July 1st, we engaged a 20 something couple that we found living in their car in Virginia Beach with 3 small children; ages 7 months to 5 years. The temperature here was 93. They came here from NC, in an effort to separate themselves from an abusing and drug addicted family with whom they had been living.
Dad is a laid-off screen printer with 7 years of experience and mom was a server at a local country club. Neither dad or mom appear to be users of any substance and both provide good 1st impressions. They were great with their kids for the time we were with them.
We contacted a local agency that we have been working with that helps displaced families and hope that housing/ shelter can be provided sometime this morning. Although the housing will not be permanent, it should allow them some reasonable time to get their feet on the ground and obtain a place of there own.
All that said, yes we did our part but you……you made our part easy. With your prayerful support we were able to put the family up in a hotel and provide them relief from the heat and the confines of their car. Homeland also was able to provide them some hygiene products and diapers for their children. On Monday we’ll probably have another decision to make, but for now God has provided a way that Homeland could help.
You are helping make things like this happen.
You are wonderful.
On May 23rd, we had the very unique opportunity to receive 200 pair of women’s eye glass frames and 200 pair of men’s eye glass frames which were being donated to Homeland by Europa Eye Wear, a major eye wear and sun wear manufacturer located in the United States. In addition to being a major supplier of eyeglass frames in the US, Europa Eye Wear distributes eyeglass frames to more that 20 countries internationally.
This unprecedented and very generous donation by Europa will be used solely to provide those we serve a greater choice in very up-to-date and very stylish eyewear.
On Feb 15th we had an opportunity to visit Portsmouth Christian School to meet a group of high school students that spent several weeks collecting clothing, hygiene items, food and hand/foot warmers for the homeless and indigent residing in our local area. As part of an assigned project, the Student Council and National Honor Society students spent endless hours purchasing, soliciting, collecting, sorting everything from bars of soap, socks, crackers, gloves, jackets and then counting and bagging all the items by type. The sight of such organization to count/sort/bag, was pure excitement. And did we say that almost every item was new; not gently used but brand spanking new. Pictured, left to right are: Alanna, Rylan, Chase, Payten, Cierra and Sam
For the last 12 months or so, a group of wonderful and kindhearted women that attend one of our local churches, have been gracious enough to spend their time to crochet these plastic mats which are made of 1000's of plastic grocery bags. So far the group of ladies have provided about 36 plastic mats that we distribute to the homeless that live on the streets and in tents in the woods. The mats provide an extra layer of protection form moisture and an extra layer of cushion.
Since 2016, Chick-fil-A on Battlefield Blvd. and the Chesapeake Police Department have been the prime sponsors of the “Blessings in a Bag” event in which Homeland has been the recipient. Through public donations this event has supported our efforts to provide "slightly used" or new winter outerwear and non-perishable food items to the homeless community in our area.
The participation and the generosity of the community supporting Blessings in a Bag was and has been continually overwhelming. Thank you Chesapeake, thank you Chick-fil-A and thank you Chesapeake PD.
For the last 3 years, Coastal Vision has supported our efforts to provide warm winter clothing to the homeless community in our area by campaigning and collecting "slightly used" or new winter outerwear. Each of their 4 office locations run this campaign offering discounts to their clients for donated articles of clothing.
Over the years, Coastal Vision has been able to provide upwards of 450 winter coats, hats, pairs of gloved, scarfs, socks and sweatshirts to Homeland for distribution in the homeless community.
Arsilas, her husband and their children live in a not so great area of town. Surrounded by “the drug man” and everything that goes with that presence, the family basically stays indoors trying to work on the brokenness in their life.
In talking with her and her husband, we found that they didn’t have a working car and looking at it sitting in their parking space you knew it was obviously dead. But the lack of transportation didn’t slow her down. She did what she had to do for the family. She would have to walk 4 hours pushing a stroller, just to get her children to a doctor’s appointment and walk for miles to the grocery store. Additionally, we found that she would have to “jury rig” her frig every 4 hours just to keep food frozen and cold. She not only has energy and determination but she has skills as well.
No car, a non-working frig, and a family hurting from tragedy. Heartbreaking. Too much to handle and too much to witness. After Homeland shared her story to some of our supporters, we had someone purchase and donate a new refrigerator to her and her family. And another extremely generous person donated a wonderful automobile.
Now several years later, they still have struggles but their quality of life has greatly improved and they are all still together.