Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Kids, Kids Kids!

Dear SoupFriends,

Greetings from the SoupMan!

When most people think of the homeless they think of adult men and women. When I think of the homeless I think of adult men, women, AND children. Oh yes, there are many homeless children out there! In the Dallas area alone we have more than 1,200 homeless children. How do we know that? We know because these are children that are living in local homeless shelters and we can physically count them.

However we also know there are hundreds more out there that are NOT being counted. Children that have fallen through the cracks and have no place to call home. Children that have no hope and a future that looks very bleak. There are many fine charities in Dallas that are trying to address this issue. The SoupMobile feels blessed to be one of those charities.

The SoupMobile was founded in 2003 as a ‘mobile’ soupkitchen that now serves more than 200,000 meals per year to the homeless in the Dallas area. In 2009 we decided to expand our mission to also include sheltering homeless men, women and YES -- Children! When we made this decision we actually ran into some opposition. Some people told us that sheltering the homeless was risky business. They went on to say that the SoupMobile should stick to what it knows best -- Feeding the homeless.

Nonetheless we stuck to our decision and in October of 2009 opened our first group home for the homeless. Last week on May 18th we celebrated the Grand Opening of our 6th group home. In just over 2 & ½ years we have opened 6 homes for homeless men, women, and children. An amazing feat to be sure, but only amazing because we serve an amazing God who paved the way for it all to happen.

At the May 18th Grand Opening two of the children from our housing program cut the Red Ribbon.
Both children came to us about a year ago. They had no adequate housing and had literally been out of school for one full year. They had fallen thru the cracks and their future did not look bright. After a year in our program it’s a whole new ball game. They have a safe, warm place to lay their head down every night. They are doing great in school and they have something we all need -- Hope!

I’ve spent the last 9 years as Executive Director of the SoupMobile serving the homeless. I count it as a deep privilege that God lets me do what I do. And as long as the Lord lets me put one foot in front of another, we will continue this mission of reaching out to the ones Jesus calls the ‘least of these.’ I will candidly admit that while my job is highly rewarding and a true labor of love, it’s not always sugar and spice. As in any job, issues, problems, and hurdles do occur. However, success stories like these two children make it all worthwhile.

We’ve had a lot of wonderful success with the adult men and women in our housing program and for that I’m most grateful. Having success with the children is the icing on the cake. And make no mistake, the success of our housing program is not because of me. I am only one small piece of the puzzle. It takes an army of supporters, donors, volunteers, and prayer warriors to make something like this happen. More important it takes a loving God who is alive and well and parts the Red Seas for the SoupMobile time and again. My grateful thanks to you all for your part in the SoupMobile housing program. I thank you from the bottom of my heart and I know the kids do, too!

May the Lord Bless & Keep You & Yours,

Signed, David Timothy, a.k.a. The SoupMan