Homelessness need not be accepted as the new normal in America. In Albuquerque, there is one group, Noon Day Ministries, that takes on the challenge each and every day. One way they do this is by enlisting help from local business and volunteer communities. They give a voice to each and every business and volunteer who, like Noon Day, says homelessness is not normal and should never be accepted as such.
Albuquerque, NM -- (ReleaseWire) -- 06/07/2013 --Homelessness has become such a huge problem throughout the country that many simply accept it as the new normal. Like many cities throughout the country, Albuquerque has a significant and persistent problem with homelessness. And there are many that refuse to accept homelessness as normal or acceptable.
Over 100,00 Meals a Year
Noon Day Ministries in Albuquerque is one such group that doesn’t simply lament the problem. Noon Day strives each day to address the most basic needs of Albuquerque’s homeless population. To that end, Noon Day served over 108,000 meals last year to the homeless. They are on pace to surpass that number this year.
Though Noon Day takes pride in its service to the homeless and the reach of its services, it takes little comfort in seeing its mission grow each year. As Noon Day’s mission statement says, “Unlike most organizations, our goal is to go out of business.” However, that goal does not seem to be anywhere in sight. Instead, the goal seems to be retreating from reach as the problem of homelessness seems to be getting worse each day. So until that goal has been reached, Noon Day relies entirely on the generosity of private donors. Noon Day receives no governmental support, and the needs are great!
Much More Than A Meal
Noon Day does much more than feed the homeless. Noon Day provides clothing, rental assistance, utility assistance, transportation assistance, school supplies for the many children at Noon Day, legal aid, toiletries, grocery provisions and even bicycle repair and haircuts.
These services are provided through both private individual donors and also the many partners of Noon Day. These donors and partners find numerous ways to support Noon Day and its guests. There are countless ways to help and cash is but one.
Cash is Not the Only Solution and Small Businesses Can Find a Way
There are many ways to lend a hand, cash is only one of them. In particular, small business has a lot to offer and a lot of different ways to do it. One small business, Collins & Collins, P.C., an Albuquerque based law firm, has found a number of ways to help. Primarily, they have tried to leverage their existing business relationships and vendors to help garner support for Noon Day.
Parrish Collins, of Collins & Collins, first came to Noon Day in an effort to reach out to homeless disabled veterans. Parrish was surprised by what he found at Noon Day. He found that the homeless population is not at all what he had learned to expect. In addition to the many Veterans that he has met at Noon Day, he has met folks that look like they might be neighbors, he has met young people that look like they should be in college and could have very well been friends of his own children not too long ago. Worse yet, there are small children with families that slipped into homelessness after only a short period of financial hardship that was beyond their control. In short, Parrish reminds himself each day, “there but by the grace of God go I.”
One visit to Noon Day and he knew, like many that have had the same experience, that he wanted and needed to help. Like many small businesses, he had much more than cash that he could contribute. In short, he was able to draw upon some of his own business relationships to contribute toward Noon Day’s mission.
Here are a few ways he has been able to help. Hopefully, other businesses will see similar opportunities and reach out to Noon Day and its homeless guests. Parrish was able to help Noon Day get a completely new website up and running. He has been able to get a PSA campaign with the local radio station. That same station will be hosting the director of Noon Day and Parrish on a Saturday radio show later this month. He is working with his phone vendor to get a commitment for the contribution of a fairly costly VOIP phone system to replace the antiquated phone system that they now have. There are a few other projects as well that he is working on.
Every Contribution Big or Small Says Homelessness Is Not Normal
Each of these efforts will hopefully benefit Noon Day. Though each is perhaps small in its own right, they add up to something significant. Multiply this across many business partners such as Collins & Collins, P.C. and the results could be impressive. Parrish does not accept homelessness as normal. With the efforts of small business partners like Collins & Collins, P.C., homelessness need not be normal or acceptable. Instead, it is a challenge that Albuquerque will both meet and overcome.
Learn More and Give Them a Pat on the Back
Every contribution helps, even if it just a pat on the back to show your support. To learn more about Noon Day, you can find them on their website at www.NoonDayMinistries.org. To really get a flavor for Noon Day and its people, check them out on Facebook . If nothing else just give them that pat on the back by “Liking” them on Facebook at Facebook.com/NoonDayMinistries. www.facebook.com/noondayministries. You can do the same for Collins & Collins, P.C at Facebook.com/CollinsAttorneys and Noon Day’s other supporters which can be found on their Facebook page.
Every gesture large and small has meaning and gives voice to all those who share the vision of Noon Day Ministries where homelessness is not a fact of life for far too many in Albuquerque.