Last night Ryan and I were able to volunteer with a group here in Indy, HOOP, "Helping Our Own People". The group goes out most nights during the week to popular homeless sleeping spots and passes out food, medicine, clothes, and blankets. As we drove up to different buildings, underpasses, and bridges, it was neat to see how the homeless communities looked forward to HOOP coming. They would come out into the street to meet our cars and kind of start a line for us to give out what we had. I was really touched by how friendly everyone was. It was interesting to hear some of their stories, some have college degrees but can't find jobs, several had drug/alcohol problems that took everything, and some just keep hitting road blocks and can't stay on their feet. I also found it interesting that many of them would rather sleep out on the streets than go to the missions organizations around town because of all the rules they have. Also, they said several of them have terrible food anyway.
HOOP seems to have a great reputation with the homeless, and they don't force anything on anyone. People come and take food/clothes at their own desire and that is it, they are simply out to serve. Lastly, a couple of the men I talked to were military veterans, which made me really sad. They served our country, and are somehow falling through the cracks (some by their own choice). Anyway, what a blessing for us to be able to go and serve these great people. Our leader, Janie, has been doing this weekly for several years and you can just see her love for people. It made me so thankful that God creates us all so differently and moves us in different directions to fulfill the needs of others.