Nothing changes, if nothing changes

I recently came across this simple, yet profound, little phrase noted above and have adopted it as a key theme not just for my own life, but for my work helping friends experiencing homelessness. Trust me, I have become very aware of the fact that I am neither a case manager nor a social worker. The trained professionals who pour themselves daily into the cause of helping the homeless deserve so much appreciation. Amateurs such as myself do our best to fill in gaps and also supplement their efforts to meet the most basic needs and provide friendship and encouragement. But, if we are not careful, weeks and months may go by with little, if any, real progress in getting someone off of the street. The result is that we bring a meal and have some of the same conversations every week. Now I realize that every situation is unique and I never have all of the facts about why someone is homeless and what they and others may be doing to “fix” the problem(s) (much of the time, virtually none of that information is available). But, once we begin to establish a relationship with someone and earn their trust, we MIGHT be able to have input into their activities and be of some influence to their thinking/actions, and THAT is where I want to be sure that I am reminding folks of this simple phrase…
We, collectively, must be willing to take action and accept the fact that it will take time to make substantive progress – and there likely will be setbacks. Nevertheless, we must not ever give up!

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