Humbly Saluting The Jimmie Hale Mission

This is 'home' for many people in America

Where many homeless will spend Christmas



I received an email from HubPages suggesting that hubbers write a hub to 'give something back' to our society. Readers. And anyone who is familiar with the works of love and concern that are being done by groups of selfless. Caring. Non-judgemental people. Who put their own needs aside each day just to see that the needs of someone without a home. A meal. A bed. And more importantly, comfort are met. This is my way of 'giving back' to some people who are more than worthy of the title, 'care givers.'

Here I sit in my comfy, warm home about to devour a tasty, hot holiday meal with my family and friends. I don't have a care in the world. My bills are paid. My grandkids are healthy. And all is right in (my) world.

Not so for 'Jed,' an obscure homeless man who lives on the streets, literally, in Birmingham, Alabama. I didn't err. On the streets is what I said. Time was, when passersby would see 'Jed,' they would gasp. Walk around him. And whisper to their friend, "I didn't know that, you know, 'those people,' were here in Birmingham." Well, dear innocent, non-involved, bystander, you are right. You didn't know. Well, I think you did, but chose to ignore 'Jed,' and many like him. Don't sweat with guilty. We all ignored 'Jed,' in the beginning.

Who would have thought that the homeless existed in Birmingham, Alabama? Or Atlanta, Georgia? And maybe in your backyard? What is our world coming to? Homeless sleeping anywhere they can. Eating from any dumpster they can find. It's a harsh life, I tell you. Harsh.

And whether you believe in God or not, that is your option. As for me personally, I DO believe in God, our Heavenly Father. And with my belief, I've heard this statement too much for my benefit, "If God is a god of love, why does He allow such things to happen?" Well, fact is. It was us, the productive. Progressive. Money-hungry industrialists with singleness of heart whose main horizon was prosperity at any cost, who are to blame. Not God. My thoughts run like this. When our country was able to 'stand on its own two legs,' we were okay. But as soon as the bigger companies saw that their products could be made cheaper and they could pay a lesser price for getting the products made, a lot of people suffered. And are still suffering from this thoughtless decision.

People. Good people. Caring people like 'Jed,' a pillar of his community. A decent family man was suddenly living on what savings and unemployment he had just to feed his wife and kids. Plus pay the necessary monthly bills. And when the savings ran out, 'Jed,' sold off his car, boat, what jewelry his wife had, but that was not enough. He had hit 'the bottom of the barrel.' Next stop. The street. In alleyways. Living in a box. Eating what food was given to him by some rare soul with a heart. Or having his evening meal at a dumpster behind a local Wendy's. Some life, huh?

People like 'Jed,' and many like him, have found comfort. Warm food. Clothing. A good bed and respect from a 'miracle of God,' the Jimmie Hale Mission, Birmingham, Alabama, that tends to many of the homeless in Jefferson County. Plus the drug addict or alcoholic who has 'hit a rock wall,' in surviving on nothing. The people at the Jimmie Hale Mission care.

What makes the Jimmie Hale Mission special is many reasons:

  1. They do not depend on Federal, State or County funds to operate. Anonymous donors and many major companies in and around Birmingham, Alabama keep the doors of Jimmie Hale Mission open. And the doors have been open for many years. With no let-up in sight.
  2. The personnel of Jimmie Hale Mission DO NOT point fingers at a man or woman's past or present life and the hardships they are enduring. The staff care about people. Bottom line. The staff receive no 'bonus' gifts, pay, or recognition. They just care. But the staff do help with the man or woman who is homeless. Addicted to drugs or alcohol, and give them several avenues of relief. And comfort. Without stripping them of what pride they have left.
  3. I knew a man who lives nearby, who called the Jimmie Hale Mission one year, and the first thing (according to the man who called) the staff member who answered was, "who can we help today?" That response in itself. Says it all.

At the Jimmie Hale Mission, 'Jed,' can find comfort in knowing that there are still some good. Caring. Selfless people on this earth. 'Jed' can sleep in a warm bed instead of some cold alleyway where hardly anyone stops to see if 'Jed' or his friends are living or not. And I guess the best thing about the Jimmie Hale Mission is that 'Jed' can keep his dignity as a man. The Jimmie Hale Mission does NOT tear-down a man to build him up again. They are specialists at taking someone, no matter the condition or situation, and loving them. Without easily-condemning them with heartless words like (most of us use), "You got what you deserve--drinking like a fish!" or worse, "God is punishing you, 'Jed,' for not going to church every Sunday." The Jimmie Hale Mission staff would consider such words as blasphemy. For most of the staff at Jimmie Hale Mission has been where 'Jed' is now. That does make a world of difference.

I am not one to boast of myself. For there is nothing about 'me' worth boasting of. But I can boast (all I want to) about the mercy of God and the merciful, caring, selfless people of the Jimmie Hale Mission. Because they all DO have something to be boasted of: COMPASSION.

WRITER'S NOTE: 'Jed,' is a fictitious person. But he is a composite of the real-life homeless who have received lots of needed-help from the Jimmie Hale Mission.

You may make donations by sending them to:

THE JIMMIE HALE MISSION, P.O. BOX 10472, BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA 35202. If you do not want to give your name, simply write 'anonymous,' on a piece of paper and put it in with your donation.

I do not make it a point to solicit support for charity organizations, as most people today are touchy about such things. And I can respect that.

But with the Jimmie Hale Mission, I don't care to 'go out on a limb,' and suggest, not beg, if you want to donate to this fine organization, you may.

What have I to lose but my neck?

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Comments 32 comments

Cousin Fudd profile image

Cousin Fudd 5 years ago from From the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina

Great thoughts and there are so many like Jed all over this great country. Many choose this lifestyle and sadly there are some who use the system to milk what they can from those who are honest and have a generous spirit. We are more aware at Christmas and most of us will extend a helping hand when and wherever we can and are able. I believe those who do so are not trying to feel good by doing good but most have a loving heart for their fellow man. Merry Christmas Ken to you and your family.

kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Cousin, thanks for the nice comment. 'Jed,' was a deserving-man I thought of to use in this hub, and I do agree with you that there ARE those who use the system to their benefits. And too, there are people who only want to do good to be seen of people. I summize that YOU are not like this. I just wanted to give something back because it was a great suggestion by HugPages. Merry Christmas, Cousin and thanks for coming by. Visit with me often.

Deborah Brooks profile image

Deborah Brooks 5 years ago from Brownsville,TX

Oh My this is so good.. thank you for posting this.. I applaud people that help these people.. I believe if we all get together and help these people this would stop.. Bravo.. My hat is off to you for writing this.

I voted up and awesome

Merry Christmas


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Dear Friend, Debbie,

an humble and sincere THANK YOU for your lovely and touching comment. I give our God the praise for gently-reminding me, not only at holiday times, but throughout the year, that my brothers and sisters on the street, need MY help. I cant do a lot, but I can help to raise awareness of this fine place: Jimmie Hale Mission. And I checked it out. All info about them in this hub is TRUE. Thanks again, Debbie. You are a true, blue FRIEND and Appreciated FOLLOWER.////Kenneth and PS Merry Christmas to you too.

Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States

This is a well written hub that is sad but true. There are too many homeless people and there are many organizations that help them but aren't known by many people. I have taken food to the homeless shelter a few times and given clothing but that is a precious little sacrifice for how good God has been to me.

mary615 profile image

mary615 5 years ago from Florida

You are such a wonderful person to care about these homeless people. I give thanks every day for all my blessings. "But for the grace of God, go I". It could happen to anyone. I voted this UP, etc.

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V Qisya 5 years ago

It's terribly sad to see them having to go through difficulties and live in misery. A lil' bit of token and sacrifice, won't hurt at all. After all, this is our duty as a human being and a community. What hurt most is when some "richie rich" ignoring these poor people. Money is not their problem yet they're very calculative.

I'm speaking through my experience.I was a volunteered facilitator at one of the organization back in my hometown. Believe it or not, when asked for donations especially from some of the elites, they will ask you millions of questions. "For who? For what?" Blah blah blah. It really pissed me off.

Well, this is definitely a great hub, Ken. A reminder to all to share and care for the poor around us. No one wants to be there. A lil' helping hand could bring a smile on their face.

Never treat them bad cause' what goes around comes around. Life is unpredictable.

Awesome! Up, up and away! Take care and Merry X'mas to you, Ken.

Love, V

kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Dear Pamela, thank you, and it is sad how the homeless have to live. Please read V Qisya's comment on THIS hub. She says what I want to say. And she is right. The rich, elite, who are so wealthy they will never spend their money, will always give us a hard time to just give a $20 donation. How greedy and self-serving can anyone be? And Pamela, I am EXTREMEL PROUD of what you are doing for the misfortuate. Im glad that Our Father keeps great records and one day, YOU WILL be rewarded greatly. Merry Christmas, Dear Pamela.

kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Dear Mary,

A sincere THANK YOU for your sweet comment, but as Our Lord said, "there is none good save God," but I do appreciate you saying that about me. I am humbled by your comment. And friendship. The homeless do need our help. Who else is there? Most rich folks just ignore them, but what if, God forbid, the rich become in a homeless shape? Life does have a way of teaching the hard lessons. Thanks, dear Mary. Have a happy Christmas Weekend. Kenneth

kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Dearest "V," . . .what an amazing, touching comment you left! I am astonished at how much my followers care for the homeless. YOU are all GREAT people, Mary, Pamela, Deborah, "V," Cousin Fudd and more! "V," I wish for you, God's BEST blessings tonight and this weekend. I am sorry for not having the right words to thank you for this comment in a fitting-fashion.

Be good. And visit anytime.

Love, Kenneth

cbpoet profile image

cbpoet 5 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

Beautiful hub .. God is indeed good .. I spent one Christmas day passing out food and clothing for the homeless with a church group three years ago. It was a glorious, eye opening experience.

Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland

An excellent and heart searching hub Kenneth. Not just for Christmas but at any time of the year.

I'm like you, when people ask the silly question 'why does God allow these things to happen?' My answer is the same as yours Kenneth - God doesn't! We are free to live our lives in anyway we choose without God interfering, the result of this, is that many innocent people do suffer and end up on the streets to live. I think what breaks my heart the most is that these people shouldn't have to live anywhere but in a warm, comfortable home. There is enough money, food, housing, furniture, bedding and everything else needed, that would shelter the homeless of this world three times over and still have left overs! Why does this not happen? Sheer greed and inertia! It's the imbalance of society. Some have far too much and others, as we see with your hub have none. The balance is all wrong and so people suffer needlessly.

But I do honestly think that wonderful hubs like yours do go a long way to make people sit up and take notice and do something about it. I'm sure your heartwarming words will help many of those who, this Christmas Eve night, are sleeping on cold concrete, but soon may well have a more comfortable pillow for their weary heads.

Kenneth you have done a wonderful job in bringing the plight of these homeless people to light. Voted up + awesome!!

It only leaves me to say that I wish you and your wonderful family a warm and very happy Christmas! Bright Blessings to you and yours! Seeker7.

Kiela Starcatcher profile image

Kiela Starcatcher 5 years ago from Chicago, IL

What a wonderful hub. Thank you for showcasing that mission, Kenneth. You have a very kind heart, and it's nice to know that warmth is being spread to others. (^_^)

Rated up / beautiful!

picklesandrufus profile image

picklesandrufus 5 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va

Loved this hub. Thanks for sharing.I volunteer in shelters and must say, they are really non-judgmental life savers for many unfortunate individuals.

kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Dear cbpoet,

"Thank you very much for the inspirational comment." Comments such as yours keep this fire burning in my heart for the homeless. And I have to repeat, I have THE BEST Followers anywhere on Hubs. Thank you so much for taking time to read this. And I do hope that one person responds to the address I left. cb, have a great 2012 and I will be around on hubs, in and out, and hoping for warm weather. Sincerely, Kenneth

kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

@ cbpoet...I admire the work you did for the homeless that you mentioned in your comment. God will remember this. He says in his Word that "if he marks the fall of one sparrow, how much more does He care for us."

kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

A SINCERE THANK YOU, Penny. That makes my day brighter. And Im sure that YOU ARE A GOOD PERSON too. And the good things you have done in your life will not go unrewarded. Hopefully people will respond and send some help to this mission. Penny, thanks again and have a Happy 2012 and keep your hubs coming. Love them.

kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Seeker7, hello and hope that your day is going well. It is sad that people choose to try to get through life without God. It don't work. And I agree. This homeless situation is sad and heart breaking. The vast majority of these brothers and sisters of ours, didn't ask to be there. But thanks to the Jimmie Hale Mission, and two other outreach stations in Birmingham, Jessie's Place and The Foundry, homeless people can get clean clothes, educational help and even get help to reenter society and work at jobs that these institutions can get for them. The jobs may not pay a huge salary, but more than they beg on the streets. All three places believe in having hope at all costs, in everyone who walks through their doors. They all operate without Federal or State funds. Im glad that the Federals are out of it for if they were, they would want to operate it and cannot. Thank God for this miracle. And thank YOU for your sweet comment.

kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Dear Kiela,

Thanks so very much, dear friend. Me good? Im just a sinner saved by grace. There is none good but one, save God (spoken by Jesus while on earth), but thank you for thinking that. You are a great friend, follower and writer. Plus, thanks for the votes. Actually, this one wasnt as much for anything for ME, but "Jed." Take care, Kiela. And Happy New Year.

kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Hi, picklesandrufus....I am EXTREMELY PROUD of YOU and ALL of my followers who volunteer for work with the homeless, sick, or anyone down on their luck. MY FOLLOWERS, all of them, make a difference in the world. I can say that with 100% surety. Thanks again for sharing that about YOU. It made my day brighter. Have a Safe and Happy New Year!

Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 5 years ago from South Carolina

Great hub on an extremely sad topic but the way you've written it is inspiring in that people like those who work at the Jimmie Hale Mission bring hope to us all that there are still many good, kind and compassionate people in this world.

May God Bless You for telling this story.

kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Hey, Happyboomernurse...."Thank you, sincerely, for your touching remark. I appreciate it. I will give our Heavenly Father the thanks for allowing me to have this idea about this special place. I should have written it long ago....but as human beings go, I sometimes just do my own thing. And God bless YOU for taking time to read this, my Dear Follower/Friend. I mean that.

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Sueswan 5 years ago

Dearest Kenneth,

Bless you for writing this hub about the Jimmie Hale Mission.

It is nice to see an organization that knows the true meaning of charity instead of those that are trying to make a profit.

Voted up and away!

Best wishes for a Happy New Year my friend.

kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Dec. 27, 2:03 p.m., cst

Dearest Susan,

Thank YOU so much for this VERY-SWEET COMMENT. I just followed my heart. These people at Jimmie Hale do a great work. Without any credit. And this was MY pat-on-the-back for them. And THANK YOU, Dear Susan, for always saying such SWEET things. What a gracious and sweet lady you are. Best wishes to you too for a healthy, happy and Peaceful 2012. Fondly, Kenneth

Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States

This hub really illustrates home people can make a difference as there are so many homeless and people living in their cars, not having enough to eat, etc. The Jimmy Hale Mission sounds wonderful and it was a good choice to illustrate the point. God Bless.

kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

God bless YOU, Dear Pamela, for your kind, caring words. The Jimmie Hale Mission IS a terrific, caring place that does the Will of God by caring for those who cannot care for themselves. Thanks again for all of your sweet comments.


snakeslane profile image

snakeslane 5 years ago from Canada

Good work Kenneth Avery, being homeless and eating out of a Wendys' dumpster is a truly bleak reality, thank you for your concerned compassion and support for those who need it most. Regards, snakeslane

kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Dear snakeslane, THANK YOU KINDLY for your warm comment. I mean it. That makes this hub worth it. But as a favor to me, give our Heavenly Father the thanks. This was His idea. And I am doing my best to help the homeless in and around Birmingham, Alabama. If one is helped. I will sleep better. Happy New Year, my DEAR friend.

Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

I, too, responded with HubPages ask us to write about giving back. I'm proud to be part of a community of writers who think this was - especially at this time of year. Great cause - well presented.

kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Dear Kathleen,

I appreciate YOU as a person, friend, follower and writer. YOU are an excellent example of all of these titles. Happy New Year to you and keep up the great work.

phdast7 profile image

phdast7 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Hi Kenneth- Thank you for a well-written, persuasive Hub about people in need that we should be helping to care for. We all have causes that are dear to our hearts, but this sounds like a special place. Thank you. Have a Happy New Year. Theresa

kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author


Dear Theresa,

No, thank YOU for taking the time out of your day, or night, to read this hub that tears me up everytime I think about all of the people who depend on this place to just keep alive. Truly, these people, the staff, are the REAL Heroes of life. Thanks so much for being a terrific friend and follower. I wish YOU the BEST New Year EVER!////Kenneth/ your friend for life.

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