1021 1st Ave. N. Fort Dodge, IA 50501

To reach out to men who are homeless, hungry and/or in need of hope by demonstrating the
Grace of Christ through food, shelter, clothing
and the Word of God.

Who Are the Homeless?
The definition of homelessness is fairly simple; it is defined as “a person lacking a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence.”  Obviously, people who are homeless need shelter, food, warmth and personal goods, and distributing these items is a part of the meaningful ministry Beacon of Hope is providing.  It’s a way of sharing the love of Christ in a tangible way.  However, we must look beyond the symptoms of homelessness and address the real causes and needs, for if we don’t, we will do little to help make a lasting difference.

Who ARE the homeless?  They are as varied a population as any community is.  They are:

  • those who have lost their jobs, can’t afford health insurance, need help finding employment and paying medical and other bills — they need a sense of security.
  • those in family crisis (death, divorce, estrangement) who need counsel, comfort, and practical assitance — they need a sense of perspective.
  • those with substance abuse problems who need help in overcoming their addictions — they need a sense of victory.
  • those released from prison needing help getting back into society, gaining employment, etc. — they need a sense of forgiveness
  • those from a foster care background who need to know they matter to someone, to have someone they can trust, and find help in establishing roots — they need a sense of belonging.
  • those who are victims of natural disasters who need help rebuilding their lives, maybe their homes — they need a sense of hope.

We, as Christians, need to be able to provide people with that sense of security, perspective, victory, forgiveness, belonging, and hope.  We must be willing to help, one person at a time.  Every individual matters.  I believe that we all have been homeless at one time, at least in our hearts.  Everyone has a story and Beacon of Hope Shelter gives us all an opportunity to be a part of someone else’s story.

It’s funny how we will worship a homeless man on Sunday and forget a homeless man on Monday.

Brian Bidleman
Director, Beacon of Hope Shelter