Humbly Saluting The Jimmie Hale Mission
This is 'home' for many people in America
Where many homeless will spend Christmas
. . .A FEW DAYS AGO
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?