Tag Archives: #homelessness

Suitts 4 Homeless people

Suits 4 Homeless

Suits 4 Homeless!

Hi family and friends! I pray your week is filled with joy and strength to persevere through it, along with knowing how much I appreciate you for visiting my blog along with all the support I receive from your love!

So thank you, I appreciate you!

Since I’m busy doing a month-long event for my nonprofit called Blameless and Forever Free Ministries in order to initiate community involvement doing random “love tokens,” I wanted to share a snip-it of what we’re doing leading up to the big social media event called #GivingTuesday on December 3rd.

Sharing this tender event is a glimpse of what fuels my soul to always do more and love more because of the gracious hearts we get to encounter. This Suits 4 Homeless event brought me intense joy and is but just one reason why I love pouring life and healing into the homeless and the incarcerated.

And with the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” need I say more?

The amazing man in the picture is named Tony. I’ve known Tony and his beautiful bride now for a little over two years. They have had their ups and downs along with being forced to live in their vehicle due to disabilities and a lack of family support; a common thread of homelessness.

Tony is recovering from a triple bypass heart surgery and life being confined to living and existing in a vehicle has a tendency to strip any “man” of his pride and self-worth. So once Blameless received quite a few suits and dress shirts, Tony was the first person I could think of to bless.

And bless we did…

These suits almost appeared to be tailor-made to fit every inch of Tony’s frame. It was uncanning how they fit; but then again, with God’s Great Love, He does the supernatural! Remarkable.

Tony was so excited, he stripped down naked (almost) right between our vehicles and tried them on.

Lo and behold, I present you to the amazing and ever-so-joyful, Mr. Tony! He looks like a million bucks, right?

Suitts 4 Homeless people

And look at that smile…

One couldn’t look more handsome and/or be more appreciative!

Blameless has added onto this global social media event called #GivingTuesday an extension event called #TuesdayGiving4Love. This is created to cultivate fun community engagement, which changes the culture, inspires the church, and advances justice reform.

This #GivingTuesday4Love campaign is about encouraging people to see the soul, mission and ministry of Jesus by leaning into His very heartbeat, understanding His interaction and engagement with people, and how He tenderly loves and restores.  

Combating the enemy of loneliness and isolation takes a village!

That’s Tony’s beautiful bride in the center along with myself (tall one in back) and Miss Tennessee. I pray this tugs at your heart strings to help nonprofits like Blameless and Forever Free Ministries and others as we share the good news of the gospel with those in great need; most especially the homeless and incarcerated.

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

Permission To Serve Without Reserve?

Blameless Helping Hands

Choosing To…

Serve Without Reserve!

When feeling unwanted, not cared for, unloved and forgotten by everyone…

I may not know you personally, but one thing I do know: You have been badly hurt in your life. You have heard words that have assaulted, even stung.  Words filled with hate and lies that you just can’t deny or shake off!  People have said and done mean and damaging things to you.

However, beloved, your past does not define you!

My heart pours into yours being a sister in Christ filled with compassion and understanding. You may not hear just how radiant and valuable you are, but you are! Your life does matter and the world needs what only you possess.  I appreciate how precious you are and everything you’ve taught me.

Thank you for teaching me how important God’s Great Love is!

As I turned the corner, our eyes met up; yours filled with shame, mine filled with joy and delight. You see, God answered my prayers. Your life means more to me than we dare to understand. I get you because I’ve been there. Felt that! Lived that!

God doesn’t want you crawling back into your shell. God wants to pour love into you and breathe life back into your dry bones. His Great Love! Our paths crossed so you might understand somebody sees you and that you’re not alone. You are being offered warmth and acknowledgement from a heart filled with love and compassion.

I understand it’s hard to trust others when you’ve been rejected, but grab a hold of the loving hand extended. You don’t have to hide any longer in fear or rejection. You no longer have to invite people into the inner parts of your heart that offer more sabotage and seduction than support just to exist.

Blameless Fear Not Isaiah 41.10

I may have never been homeless living on the streets, but I was just a paycheck away from it for many terrifying years being a single parent. We relate because I have lived through the chaos and poor decisions leading up to homelessness. I’ve experienced what it’s like being alone and abandoned.

God has placed people along your path who will treat your heart with care.

Understanding what hopelessness and paralyzing fear does to a beloved through attacking thoughts of not being enough and the shame that accompanies those lies is intense.

Beloved, there’s no shame in our game; Jesus is His Name! Nothing you did cannot be forgiven. Receive the forgiveness as a strength, not a weakness.

God promises double for your trouble (shame) in Isaiah 61:7!

When we embraced, I could feel your desperate hold due to fear that turned cold. You shivered and hung onto me like an addict needing her fix. You grasped for air as your face was buried into my chest with tears that drowned and overwhelmed your soul. I am forever dressed in your tears that permeated my own soul.

Your hopelessness mirrors the darkness that exists due to a few bad choices and decisions. We all make mistakes. God will turn your ashes (pain and mistakes) into beauty if you will let go and learn from Him through them. 

Blameless Psalm 37.23

God wants us to run this race victoriously all the way to and through the finish line. He fights for us by sending support from others who will speak words of life, love and encouragement. A new family! ♥♥♥

Embracing God’s amazing grace offers us hope by guiding us out of the darkness with His strength. You don’t have to go at it alone. That’s why He crosses our paths with other beloveds. That’s the light that will help guide you out of your darkness!

Blameless Light Of Your Love

I am trying to love and emulate what Mother Teresa said about giving: “It is not about how much we give, but about how much love we put into giving.

I don’t understand why we’re so reluctant to reach out and extend a helping hand to those who are in need, but maybe it’s just fear.

I admit, there are times when I encounter others in need and I act like I’m blinded to it. I either don’t want to be inconvenienced or feel what little I have to offer really wouldn’t help much. Truth be told, that’s a sinful act of omission; failing to reach out and do good by helping another. 

Ouch!

Jesus commanded us to be on the lookout for such needs by showing compassion and pity without expecting anything in return. 1 John 3:17 says, “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?”

Serve Without Reserve

At least you looked at me and we shared a smile!

I wish we could bottle up all the love and grace that is extended to us before it disappears. I’m praying many others will choose to mirror the kingdom of God this side of heaven through choosing to serve without reserve.

Give Until It Hurts

When we help others, we live out what Winston Churchill said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

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!

Buday Strong, Russell B.

Blameless Buday Strong

The Voice of Russell B.

Buday Strong

Working Homeless

Please let me introduce you to Buday Strong!  Russell is Blameless and Forever Free’s latest nominee for the board of directors.  With his unprecedented devotion in being Blameless’ chef and server, along with always being willing to help wherever he can, (only missing one week in nine months, solely due to the founder’s insistence that he heal from his shoulder surgery), he’s not missed one day serving.  One of many reasons why he is being nominated as Blameless’ homeless advocate.

Russell is a working homeless beloved himself.  And the following is raw, intimate and vulnerable, words spoken from his heart that he wants us to understand.

In Russell’s words…

The reason his homelessness started was over petty money issues between siblings and his need to provide for his children in the Philippines; “money is the root of all evil.”  His American family insinuated that his Philippine family was using him.  Russell tried to explain without compromise.

Russell has constantly put his daughters, 8 and 10, at the front burner.  His daughter says her daddy is “Buday Strong.”

Russell’s last name is Buday and it ironically means “strong, strength.”

Russell has struggled with homelessness before, but he has now become isolated and withdrawn because he is tired of being labeled as “the scourged of the community.” 

This shame keeps homeless beloveds bound without hope believing, “We’re the low life of the community in their eyes; that we don’t deserve any kind of help.” 

He tearfully continues, “If you treat us like animals, we will be animals towards you.  I want to be treated like a human being.  I have feelings like you, believe it or not.  Your looks hurt!  You don’t have to say one word, but just look, and I know what you’re thinking.” 

That is why we oftentimes say the homeless live behind their veils of shame because of what society has projected at them,

“especially when you’re pushing a cart.”

By the way, Russell is the ONE throughout this year who has loyally served the homeless community through dedication and dependability.

A lady once brought tender tears to Russell’s heart because of her statement, “Some of the nicest people with the biggest hearts are those that live on the streets.”

Russell knows what it’s like to live as a homeless individual and what is needed.  He was homeless 22 years ago in Florida for a couple of years, and now he’s currently homeless and has been for the past eight, nine months, while being employed.

What the homeless need RIGHT NOW is love, dinner and shelter every night.  Not only does safety and nourishment for the heart, soul, body and mind aid in their sleeping which is disturbed already by being out in the elements along with the crime that runs rampant in the streets, but it calms and restores their soul in making better decisions.

Homelessness has broken Russell down.  Stripped down naked feeling exposed.  “You feel worthless and no matter what you do, you try to grasp onto something and you keep slipping.  You can’t get a good handle on or a foothold on to something and you just give up due to exhaustion.  We feel broken.” 

It’s Russell’s kids and faith in God that are making sure that Russell stays Buday Strong.  Because without him, his children will not survive because they depend on the resources he provides.

With tears rolling down his cheeks, Russell shares, “You don’t know how hard this is for me, doing this.  Whenever you’re alone for so long, you bottle everything up and you don’t want to open up.”  This is one step forward towards his healing.  He just wants peace in sharing his life; advocating for the homeless. 

Russell is someone whom the founder has noticed that will give the shirt off of his back, while being homeless and cold himself, and he shutters when he thinks about how his family won’t help.  Our division and strife in families is growing increasingly divided and somehow or another we’ve lost the love.

God’s Great Love Changes Everything!

And truth be told about Russell’s love for his own family, being faced with the possibility of having his toes amputated because of chronic health issues not being addressed, which is very heavy on his heart, fear is a bipolar rivalry between his worth and value, crushing his spirit, and paralyzing him in moving forward in taking care of himself.  Self vs. family equates homelessness while he continues to work.

In conclusion, Russell’s final plea is, “All I want is for people to know me and not turn a blind eye” just because he’s homeless and pushing a cart.  If you really want to know, don’t assume, ask him why he’s homeless.

Until next time…

God’s Great Love Changes Everything!

Blameless Martin

God’s Great Love Changes Everything!

Love Offers Hope.  Hope Develops Confidence.  Confidence Leads To Action.  Action Results In Change!

Albert Einstein was onto something when he stated, “The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing!”

When we encounter homeless beloveds, our natural reaction generally triggers dismay along with blinders because it exposes the depth of our hearts.

Shallowness!

Ouch!  If you’re anything like I used to be, you become appalled when you encounter the homeless.  Do you discount them as losers?  Even refer to them as junkies and beggars with mental illness?  Or do you judge and group them together as lost souls who are polluting our rivers and streams and becoming public safety toxins?

Sadly, Einstein’s analogy is exactly how we, as a society, have been operating and dealing with the homeless.  We need to facilitate an emergent change because this homeless epidemic is out of control and it’s birthing hate, division and war instead. 

Casting and shifting blame onto our overwhelmed governmental programs, lack of law enforcement implementation and nonprofit organizations scrambling to find needed finances to create shelters, carrying the full weight of society’s expectations in finding a remedy obviously has failed.  We need education and awareness of this process while becoming part of the front lines that are no match to this Goliath.

Blameless and Forever Free Ministries continues to become equally frustrated at the increasing numbers.  This nonprofit has found that incorporating God’s Great Love and treating the homeless as our own family with the addition of their “A Beautiful You” homeless events where outreach is geared towards providing nourishment spiritually, physically and emotionally is conquering this battlefield one life at a time, one day at a time.

Should we give up because society dictates a numbers game so responsibility is relinquished? 

Every life matters so one life saved is victory!

The founder of Blameless and Forever Free Ministries has spent the last year doing life with the homeless, getting to know the need underlying the needs, and is going to try as humbly as possible to share her raw, true feelings comparing the pain and shock from the loss of her own first husband succumbing to the death delivered from alcohol addiction, depression along with homelessness, to spending a Friday evening eating dinner and listening to the story of a working homeless man, to starting a charitable organization catered to the many facets of homelessness.

Homelessness hurts and effects everyone.  Whether you’re a family member, an ex-spouse, a child/parent, taxpayer, you name it, we’re all being effected one way or another.  We can no longer relinquish responsibility.

I pray that I can somehow share openly my past judgments with candor while offering awareness to just how long it takes to cut through the bureaucratic red tape to find governmental help along with the stigma that mental illness carries to a world who is just now being introduced to the painful consequences that has been swept underneath the rug for generations. 

I am going to start showcasing one homeless beloved a month so you might understand their story; how they get to where they are and why they still remain abandoned and rejected.  Shame is a hard outer shell to crack through, much less rehabilitate.

The man above is Martin.  Martin thought he was going to die homeless with his Stage 4 colon cancer.  Outreach offered me the ability to befriend Martin, engage in fellowship with him, along with introducing him to Christ. 

Martin’s lens had been clouded and tainted by life, pain delivered through tragedy and rejection, but once we got him reading glasses, a Bible, and a whole lot of love emulating our Beautiful Jesus, Martin soon realized his life mattered.  He didn’t need as much alcohol that once dictated every decision he made (liquid courage, NOT!!!).  He realized he belonged and is now living comfortably in Sacramento with his sister and family. 

Martin, I love you and miss you dearly.  Thank you for teaching me the simplicity in sharing that I’m not the only one who becomes giddy watching the twilight of the moon dance through the trees while howling like a wolf when the moon becomes full. 

Blameless Homeless Rite-Aid

My mission with Blameless and Forever Free Ministries is not to encounter the appalling picture above anymore encamped alongside of our grocery stores.  Not all homeless want help, including Martin’s friend passed out in the photo above, but roughly 40% of our homeless do. 

And with our amazing God and all the precious beloveds dedicated to being His hands and feet, contributing to the welfare and outpouring of God’s Great Love, rehabilitation is awakened, proving with God, all things are possible! 

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

 

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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Come and See…

 

33576396_1630331057083782_6707623216992485376_nBlameless A Beautiful You

A Beautiful You…

God is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us (Ephesians 3:20).

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For all of my amazing homeless beloveds I call family!  I started Blameless and Forever Free Ministries A Beautiful Youevent to engage with you while pouring out love through food and the instruction flowing from the Word of God.  After all, that’s what my nonprofit organization stands for, being God’s hands and feet because I have personally encountered and witnessed how His Great Love Changes Everything!

As I preached rather fervently a few weeks ago, Blameless was organized so you could see for yourself what God can do. Up until this point, you’ve seen what only you can do. John 1:39 tells us “to come and see.”  And since God is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us (Ephesians 3:20), it’s time to claim His promises.

So…  I love you more than you will ever imagine. But it’s time you guys remove your veils of shame, own up to your own bad behaviors and decisions, and take a leap of faith to see what all God can and will do. There are many excuses being made which I am now holding you accountable for.

Carl’s Jr. is hiring on Douglas and Sierra College Blvd. You are allowed to have felonies on your record. All shifts are available, along with job titles of cashier and cook. I personally spoke with the assistant manager and he gave me applications. I will have them Wednesday for you, but hopefully you’ll move on your own accord beforehand.

Carl’s Jr. is hiring. Domino’s Pizza is hiring. PetsMart is hiring. Chick ‘fil A is hiring. WalMart is hiring. Bev ‘n Mo is hiring. Sprouts Grocery is hiring. In ‘N Out Burger is hiring starting with high pay. Just a few places I encountered today running errands and being with clients. My eyes were opened to many job opportunities.

Not being able to take a shower before an interview is no longer an excuse. I will get you to a shower, even if it has to be using my own club house’s pool shower. You can shower with a bathing suit or shorts on. I will make arrangements to get you showered. I have told a few of you I will drive you personally to the interview itself. That offer still stands.

Let’s get moving. It’s up to you now what you do with the tools and gifts God has given you as you take a leap of faith towards blessings. Embrace it and move forward! God has delivered other homeless beloveds into their own homes. You can read about one such beloved who moved into his own home named Trev here.

I will see you Wednesday evening at our A Beautiful You event in Roseville. Please spread the word to come because I have an important announcement that I am making. McDonald’s is graciously donating dinner for you guys along with dessert from Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. See you then.

Until next time…

Thank You For Being…

Blameless A Beautiful You Event