Encountering Homelessness in 2019

Happy New Year!

2019 Is The Year Of The Voice

I struggled to get off the jam-packed freeway full of road rage and weary drivers that found themselves parked instead of moving forward.  Here it was 6:45 p.m. and I needed to get my life-sustaining heart meds before 7:00 because the pharmacy closed its steel doors at the strike of the 7:00 hour and would be closed for the next two days. 

Once I got off the freeway, there was no way possible to maneuver over four lanes in enough time to turn into the pharmacy’s parking lot so I was forced to travel another bumper-to-bumper half-mile to perform a U-turn.  Amazingly, the light connected with my anxiety and turned green, rushing me into the parking lot with just a few minutes spare to run in and get my prescriptions. 

As I leaped out of my car, I was stopped, even bullied and challenged by an unknown homeless man who was adamant that I give him a couple of bucks. 

You see, in my city, the City of Roseville, I refuse to put up with panhandling.  It’s a distraction.  It initiates fear and crime and there’s ABSOLUTELY NO NEED FOR IT! 

I have even been known to stop in the middle of an intersection to get them to move on.  It’s not that I lack compassion; after all, I run a homeless organization, but it’s just that we have many resources available and their panhandling is an excuse and becomes an eyesore.

I work hard to help guide and direct them to get tapped into alternative resources and get off the streets. 

It’s hard for reality to prevail over guilt!

When encountering panhandlers, I instinctively stop what I’m doing and give them the lowdown of who I am, how and why I run an organization catered specifically to helping love on the homeless, and if they are hungry, I will buy them food.  I then pray over them, give them my business card, and tell them that if I come back in the next hour and still see them panhandling, I will have them arrested. 

You might find that harsh given my heart pours out the love of Jesus into these individuals daily, but if the services we offer don’t suffice, then it’s obvious they’re only looking for a quick fix related to drugs and/or alcohol.

This man was the FIRST AND ONLY HOMELESS individual who didn’t pack up and leave.  Sadly, he felt his fear tactics and threats to kill would influence me otherwise. 

I challenged him with his futile threats to go ahead (not the brightest move admittedly), but I’m ready to meet my savior, Jesus Christ, at any time so it didn’t really matter.

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Blameless and Forever Free Ministries is praying that 2019 initiates a new attitude and compassion for stabilization regarding our homeless epidemic. 

Being the founder of Blameless, I want to be very honest here.  In working to stabilize our homelessness through God’s Great Love, I humbly admit I get frustrated and quite offended when I encounter panhandlers.  Giving them “money” is defeating our arduous work!  It’s much easier to trigger sympathy than to seek help.

Mental illness is the main precursor of homelessness; addiction, depression, psychosis, abuse, rejection, and abandonment issues are the leading causes, but a lot of homelessness has to do with shame and guilt and the need for guidance to get reestablished back into society. 

I don’t like seeing the makeup of my town changing because homelessness is out of control, and everywhere you look they’re either lined up around our stores or in parking lots panhandling or passed out in our parks while depleting our fire and law enforcement resources.

Blameless Homeless Rite-Aid

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Please don’t encourage Panhandling!

There are many ways you can help and we need a village of people to come together and help combat this Goliath.  Please don’t encourage panhandling by offering money; but instead, as you encounter homeless beloveds, acknowledge their presence with eye contact and a warm smile and maybe even say “good morning.”  Being affirmed builds worth and a sense of belonging.

You could offer to buy them a sandwich or burger along with a milk.  A used bike and metal cart is invaluable. 

Another idea is sharing you are tight on money, but could they use laundromat tokens or clothing?  Share with them you’ll go home and be right back with a few things and/or buy tokens with laundry detergent. 

Better yet, donate to charitable nonprofits like Blameless that deal with homelessness.

Here is a glimpse of one homeless beloved who wanted to go to the laundromat for his birthday…

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I personally have found that the most significant treasure was asking if I could pray for them.  Praying over an individual offers hope and a sprinkling of love that someone actually acknowledges their presence and took the time to pray for them.

Being the hands and feet of God encourages the homeless that they’re seen and their lives matter.  This is the way our communities can come together along with the homeless and help find a remedy to stabilize and tackle this epidemic.

God is going to do mighty things in 2019 and tackling this homelessness is going to be one of them. 

Happy New Year!  May God be with you, keep you safe and bless your generosity.

 

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

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Help Me Find My Family

Blameless Gregory

Help Me Find My Family

Please share.  This is Gregory Garland and his birthday is Saturday, October 6.  He is nearing 70 years old and his last known address was in the Seattle, Washington area.  Those blue eyes radiate his kindness and hope without telling the real story of how he wants to go home and be with his children.  His children are located in Washington and Massachusetts and probably think he’s dead.  Their names are Cheri Lee Garland, Stephanie Harrera (spelling ?), Gregory J. Garland and Sean I. Garland.  If you know them, please contact Tammy Ingram or Blameless and Forever Free Ministries at blamelessandforeverfree@gmail.com or Facebook.

Gregory came to California for a hip replacement surgery.  Once he was released, he wanted his alcohol.  He is an alcoholic.  One thing led to another and he was attacked and beat up with all his possessions taken except for his walker.  This is how I met Gregory.  He was incoherent on the side of the road and I pulled over.  I had to stop traffic and summon paramedics.  He went back to the hospital.

Upon release, he had no driver’s license, no wallet, no cell phone, nothing but his walker.  I have run back into Gregory after looking for him for months and we need to find his family.  He stays to himself, like many homeless, and has exhausted all resources and feels this is just how he will die. 

Due to technology, can you remember your kids’ phone numbers?  I can’t and have felt hopeless at times and quite ignorant when my cell wasn’t readily available.  What most of you don’t know about the homeless is, a lot of resources are not available without a valid I.D.  They cannot even receive necessary resources like temporary shelters because they don’t have a valid I.D.  We cannot get Gregory a valid I.D. without a birth certificate.

Many homeless individuals suffer from this mandatory item; lack of I.D.  It is horrendous and quite a lengthy time-consuming process and expensive to get the necessary items that are needed for emergency support.  Plus, you need a valid mailing address to send this pertinent information to.  If you’re homeless, you don’t have a valid mailing address.

We will be ordering Gregory’s birth certificate and finish completing the forms on Thursday, but it will take weeks to have it sent to Blameless’ mailing address.  Then once we get it, we will have to go down to the DMV and order an I.D. card/driver’s license which will take a couple more weeks.  You get the idea here.  He is unable to receive his Social Security or any financial help.  He is suffering from a significant skin disease/lesions throughout his body now and needs medical help.

Please, this man is near and dear to me.  If we can find his family, I will do everything in my power to put him on a bus or an airplane to get him to his daughters in Washington, but I need to first find them and have hopes that they have his birth certificate or other documents to expedite travel.

Yes, this is a battle which keeps many homeless beloveds homeless.  I used to sit back and judge and get all pissy because some hotels were allowing the homeless to come into the lobby area and charge their cell phones.  I felt so violated and upset with the generous management of some hotels.  Woe to me for being Princess Tammy judging and thinking heinously because now here I am running a nonprofit organization that is trying to make a difference in the lives of those who have been rejected and are homeless for a sundry of reasons.

Please help me help Gregory Garland whose birthday is Saturday, October 6, in finding his family so his gentle spirit can live long enough to get home and see his family.  I’ve had to hunt him down.  He is not asking for anything, but I AM!  This will also remove one more homeless person off the streets.  One person at a time, one day at a time.  With God, all things are possible!

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

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A Beautiful You…

Blameless A Beautiful You Event

A Beautiful You

Event Coming Soon!

Blameless and Forever Free Ministries is excited to announce A Beautiful You event every Wednesday, starting Wednesday, March 28, 2018, from 5:00 to 7:30 p.m., at Royer Park, 190 Park Drive in Roseville, California.

Because Blameless believes God’s Love changes everything, with the 28% increase in homelessness for Placer County alone, predominantly in Roseville, a whole lot of His Love is needed.

Since Blameless loves being God’s hands and feet, we will be serving the homeless with food for their hearts, soul, body and minds, while fulfilling their request for church also. So come on out and join us celebrating the love of Christ and each member of His Body!

Better yet, if you would like to volunteer and help serve being God’s hands and feet by loving on the homeless, fill their plates with food and radiate sunshine, have great vocals and/or can play an instrument, we would love to be blessed with your gifts. Just show up! The more the merrier!
Looking for new friendships? There’s never been a better way to meet amazing people than getting to know others who serve the homeless. Talk about beautiful beloveds with hearts full of hidden treasures. That’s the best fuel for friendships (BFF)…
If you have any questions or need more information about events, you can visit Blamelessandforeverfreeministries.org or you may contact Tammy Ingram at blamelessandforeverfree@gmail.com.

I can’t change you and you can’t change me, but together we can work to change the world. ~ Vironika Tugaleva

Celebrating one life at a time! Together we can and W.I.L.L. do amazing things, because God’s Great Love changes everything.

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

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Homelessness… Tammy Tangent Tuesdays

Blameless Homeless 3

Homelessness…

Has The Milk Of Human Kindness Dried Up?

Tammy Tangent Tuesdays

Hi Beautiful! I pray you were able to tap into our amazing God of Encouragement and Endurance this past week while stamping other beloveds “approved” with joy. It’s that time again, it’s Tammy Tangent Tuesdays.

As I write this weekly challenge, my heart is heavily burdened. This is the result of another “be-careful-what-you-pray-for” as tears pour down my face hearing the testimonies of many homeless beloveds from this past weekend.

You see, I asked the Lord to give me His eyes to see what He sees and His ears to hear what only He knows. God’s answer:

“The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing!” ~ Albert Einstein

Homelessness is real and more predominant than most people care or even dare to acknowledge.

Jesus’ words in John 3:17 are fixed to my heart, “If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need, but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?

Blameless Hugging Says You Matter

Homelessness accompanies hopelessness that only Love can heal!

I’ve recently become honored to be a part of an amazing team that ministers every week to providing the homeless love through nutritious meals, rain or shine.  Food is the vessel that draws the homeless beloveds in while providing nourishment for the heart, soul, body and mind.

Providing Hope For Our Homeless

We’re talking hundreds of homeless individuals receive hope, love, fellowship, HUGS and nourishment from amazing selfless beloveds that speak life and love into others and whom I’m honored to call my friends and team. This blessed nonprofit in Roseville, California, is called Blameless and Forever Free Ministries.

I have met, served and continue to be blessed by the homeless population. Yes, you read that right, the homeless continue to bless me! When I look them in their eyes, I see a reflection of who lives inside of me; Love Himself, Jesus Christ!

I can relate with many of these precious loved ones and their stories. I was a single mom working two jobs and know full well what it’s like to be a paycheck away from being homeless. Frightening! And fear paralyzes us to move forward. I understand their pain and their sense of loss and desperation. Talk about a shame-filled life without any hope.

Blameless Homeless 2

Unconditional Love

There’s more love depicted in this photograph than sadly the supply of milk. These pets offer more love and comfort than one could illustrate. Without them, the emotional distress would be unconscionable.

There’s a reason many homeless beloveds have animals; it’s called unconditional love. It’s a source of stability and comfort that helps them facilitate hope. Plus the animals provide a source of heat. Do you know what it feels like to live in freezing conditions? It’s a silent killer.

This photograph illustrates the best of conditions in homeless suburbia. If I showed you skid row where they’re all lined up on the cold, dark cement sidewalks of Sacramento, hundreds with very few tents, huddled together for warmth and protection from the elements, it would, or should, break your heart!

A simple token of kindness can make a huge difference. We can do this by acknowledging the need of the homeless by donating time, blankets, socks, money, food, you name it.

What a blessing and honor to witness how a simple gesture of human kindness and love can heal wounds that otherwise would bleed out.

As Mother Teresa said, “If you cannot feed a hundred people, then feed just one.”

Blameless Homeless Plate For One 2.2

Weekly Challenge: I understand most of us can’t afford to feed a hundred people, but we can pitch in and help one homeless person. This weekly challenge is to donate time or monetary resources, preferably both , to local Christian nonprofit organizations like Blameless and Forever Free Ministries.  Blankets and socks are golden treasures right now.

Nonprofit organizations cater to more than just the physical needs of the homeless. They operate under the authority of the powerful words that offer healing that Jesus declared in John 6:35, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”

Blameless Beautiful When We Come Together

“The best Vitamin for a Christian is to B-1!”

Together we’re beautiful and withdrawing or acting blind to others’ needs will not help solve any problem. I pray the Lord will open our eyes and hearts to the many beloveds who are homeless. After all, “the best vitamin for a Christian is to B-1.” Do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased (Hebrews 13:16).

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

Homelessness… Tammy Tangent Tuesdays

Blameless Homeless 3

Homelessness…

Has The Milk Of Human Kindness Dried Up?

Tammy Tangent Tuesdays

Hi Beautiful! I pray you were able to tap into our amazing God of Encouragement and Endurance this past week while stamping other beloveds “approved” with joy. It’s that time again, it’s Tammy Tangent Tuesdays.

As I write this weekly challenge, my heart is heavily burdened. This is the result of another “be-careful-what-you-pray-for” as tears pour down my face hearing the testimonies of many homeless beloveds from this past weekend.

You see, I asked the Lord to give me His eyes to see what He sees and His ears to hear what only He knows. God’s answer:

“The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing!” ~ Albert Einstein

Homelessness is real and more predominant than most people care or even dare to acknowledge.

Jesus’ words in John 3:17 are fixed to my heart, “If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need, but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?

Blameless Hugging Says You Matter

Homelessness accompanies hopelessness that only Love can heal!

I’ve become honored to be a part of an amazing team that ministers hope and love to homeless beloveds utilizing nutritious meals as a vessel drawing them in.  This nonprofit organization is called Blameless and Forever Free MinistriesBeing the hands and feet of God offers us the opportunity to provide nourishment for their hearts, souls, bodies and minds.

Providing Hope For Homeless

I have met, served and continue to be blessed by the homeless population. Yes, you read that right, the homeless continue to bless me! When I look them in their eyes, I see a reflection of who lives inside of me; Love Himself, Jesus Christ!

I can relate with many of these precious loved ones and their stories. I was a single mom working two jobs and know full well what it’s like to be a paycheck away from being homeless. Frightening! And fear paralyzes us to move forward. I understand their pain and their sense of loss and desperation. Talk about a shame-filled life without any hope.

Where’s God’s extension of love and human kindness in nursing the homeless?

Blameless Homeless 2

Unconditional Love

There’s more love depicted in this photograph than sadly the supply of milk. These pets offer more love and comfort than one could illustrate. Without them, the emotional distress would be unconscionable.

There’s a reason many homeless beloveds have animals; it’s called unconditional love. It’s a source of stability and comfort that helps them facilitate hope. Plus the animals provide a source of heat. Do you know what it feels like to live in freezing conditions? It’s a silent killer.

This photograph illustrates the best of conditions in homeless suburbia. If I showed you skid row where they’re all lined up on the cold, dark cement sidewalks of Sacramento, hundreds with very few tents, huddled together for warmth and protection from the elements, it would, or should, break your heart!

A simple token of kindness can make a huge difference. We can do this by acknowledging the need of the homeless by donating time, blankets, socks, money, food, you name it.

What a blessing and honor to witness how a simple gesture of human kindness and love can heal wounds that otherwise would bleed out.

As Mother Teresa said, “If you cannot feed a hundred people, then feed just one.”

Blameless Homeless Plate For One 2.2

Weekly Challenge: I understand most of us can’t afford to feed a hundred people, but we can pitch in and help one homeless person. This weekly challenge is to donate time or monetary resources, preferably both , to local Christian nonprofit organizations like Blameless and Forever Free Ministries. Blankets and socks are golden treasures right now.

These organizations cater to more than just the physical needs of the homeless. They operate under the authority of the powerful words that offer healing that Jesus declared in John 6:35, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”

Blameless Beautiful When We Come Together

“The best Vitamin for a Christian is to B-1!”

Together we’re beautiful and withdrawing or acting blind to others’ needs will not help solve any problem. I pray the Lord will open your eyes and heart to the many beloveds who are homeless. After all, “the best vitamin for a Christian is to B-1.” Do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased (Hebrews 13:16).

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

Where Is The Love? Cardboard Stories! Tammy Tangent Tuesdays

Blameless Homeless Cardboard Stories

Where Is The Love? 

Cardboard Stories!

Tammy Tangent Tuesdays

Hi Beautiful!  I pray you were able to sense the unique stories that every Cardboard Story related.  Even as I write this, my heart is so heavily burdened.  This sense of loss is clouding over how I generally start these Tammy Tangent Tuesdays.  Tears just pour down my face hearing the testimonies of each individual beloved.  Homelessness is real and more predominant than most people even dare to understand.

I have walked the trails personally and frequently.  I have ministered to these tender hearts.  I have clothed, broken bread with (eaten together while listening), even given temporary shelter and employment to some of the homeless.  It’s heartbreaking.  I can even identify with most of these precious loved ones and their stories.

I may not speak four languages, nor have I built robots, or received a scholarship to play baseball; but I have lost it all and started over.  I have a son who courageously battles life with epilepsy.  I was a single mom working two jobs not knowing if it was going to be enough to keep a roof over our heads, and my sons and I escaped a violent environment. 

I understand their pain and their sense of loss and desperation.  And let me share, without embracing the hands and feet of God, I probably would have ended up like the many beloveds who are finding themselves homeless and without hope.

Where’s the Love?  If God created His Beautiful Beloveds to glorify Him, how does one look at society with all the tragedy and loss surrounding so many beloveds and see love and grace being extended?

You know, I don’t know.  It breaks my heart.  I’ve suffered greatly myself, but I also have encountered the hands of God reaching down to help me back up.  He’s a gracious God, slow to anger not wanting anyone to perish, and that’s where we get to be His vessels by being the hands and feet of God to those who are in need.  What an honor!

A picture speaks a thousand words.  Nothing needs to be said further.  There’s a lot of homeless beloveds in our communities today, working and not working.  When I shared last week that I was hearing and witnessing a lot of beat-up beloveds who needed a lot of Love, His Great Love, to be poured into and have their souls nourished with support and encouragement, I was not talking about these beloveds whose stories are written on cardboard boxes.

Since being the hands and feet of God can and should be relatively easy, especially with the many gifts the Lord has blessed each of us with, why are we allowing this epidemic of homeless beloveds to continue?  It’s not going to go away; it’s common life now.  We all can make a difference.  As Mother Teresa said, “If you cannot feed a hundred people, then feed just one.” 

Blameless Homeless Plate For One 2.2

For those of you that missed my last homeless couple updates, Tammy and Dave are now in their respective three-month programs with CARE.  They did get split up, but it’s a small sacrifice to pay to get back on their feet.  They taught me a lot about how limited resources are for those without under-age children.  We need more resources to bridge the gap between church and state.

Tammy and Dave are one of a few homeless couples that I have fallen in love with, ate meals together, loved on, temporarily employed and put in a hotel while ministering to them as best as I could.  One person can make a huge difference.  One life at a time!

 Blameless Homeless TD

Weekly Challenge:  I know most of us can’t afford to feed a hundred people, but this weekly challenge is to buy a prepared meal or two, a bagged lunch with extra milk (milk is a great source of protein and calcium that they desperately need), and hand it to a homeless person with a little tag or handwritten note just saying, “You are not forgotten.  I will pray for your protection.  There is hope!”  It is such a small token, but one that is greatly needed.

Please take a few minutes and look them in the eyes and smile.  They are not to be feared, but loved on.  They are just so full of shame, that is why they struggle with making eye contact and look down.  I’m sure you can appreciate that.

I pray the Lord will open your eyes to the many beloveds who are homeless and in need; and that you become blessed as you minister to the less fortunate being God’s hands and feet to those who need to be touched by His Great Love! 

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

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