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I hear a lot of comments about the homelessness situation in Hanford. The underlying problems of what makes a person become homeless can be a very complicated issue even though, generally, people like to point to a single cause. However, in my experience, it is almost never a single cause which results in homelessness. It really isn’t a place a person chose to wind up either. This concept is true of most things in life. Pick our worst memories, we tried to make the correct decision at the time, we followed advice, we believed our friends, we felt it in our heart, but we never really understood the true ramifications our choices would create. Sometimes, it wasn’t even our choice at all. We just wound up in the wrong place, at the wrong time, or with the wrong person. Isn’t this true with all of us and our most painful circumstances? But as with most things, time is a great revelation. Our choices, or lack thereof, look clearer in the rearview mirror. It is no different regarding the reasons people wind up homeless!

Now that we, at a very basic level, understand why homelessness occurs, what does it take for a person to come off of the streets? Basically, it takes commitment! Plain and not so simple. The homeless person must commit to change, the people around them must commit to help them change, and God will honor His commitment to cause change in our hearts. At Kings Gospel Mission, we have seen this commitment work in many different ways and at many different times. We have wrestled with ourselves, each other, and God, to arrive at a deeper understanding of who we are as human beings. We have seen God transform us into new people with a deeper understanding of who He is and a deep care for our neighbor.

Today, we celebrate another life changed, a graduate of our programs. He is added to the double-digit numbers of homeless lives who are now stable and living away from the streets that this young Kings Gospel Mission has been a part of. Is there hope for the homeless in Hanford? Yes, but it takes a personal commitment, a strong, loving community, and our loving God through Jesus Christ to do so. Praise God for each of our blessings and the ability to care for those around us. 

To learn more about Kings Gospel Mission’s dignified approach to ending homelessness and how you can be a part of our approach, please visit kingsgospelmission.org.

Dave Clevenger is the Chief Executive Officer of Kings Gospel Mission, the first Homeless Rescue Mission in Kings County. He can be reached at 559-530-3740 or info@kingsgospelmission.org.

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