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Why Don't Churches House the Homeless?

While the Bible and the church teach us to love and care for our neighbors, churches don't house homeless people. It may sound like churches preach water and take wine, but it is not the case. There are several genuine reasons why churches don't house homeless people. One of the reasons being, a church is a house of worship. As such, housing homeless people would beat its whole purpose of its existence.

Reasons Why Churches Don’t House the Homeless

Let’s look at some of the other reasons why churches don’t house the homeless.

1. Churches Open Only When there is a Service

One of the main reasons why churches don’t house the homeless is because they are open mostly when there is service like on Sundays. Most churches remain closed for the better part of the week.

Hosting homeless people would require the church building to remain open throughout the week which is not logical. Otherwise, there would be a need to employ people to keep watch of the church properties. 

2. Complaints from Neighbors

Complaints from neighbors also make it difficult for churches to house homeless people. I know of an instance where a church had started housing homeless people and the neighbors started complaining of nuisance. They also complained that the church was allowing strangers to get into their estates. Such complaints make churches that are willing to house the homeless shy away.

3. Dealing with Mentally Ill People Requires Trained Personnel

For a church to house homeless people, it would need to employ staff to take care of the homeless. Homeless people face a lot of challenges like mental illnesses. To house homeless people, it will require the church to hire people who know how to deal with mental illness. This would be an added cost to the church. 

4. Drugs and Substance Abuse

Many homeless people are struggling with drugs and substance abuse. Considering that church premises are a holy place, housing homeless people would mean that the homeless people can abuse drugs while within the church premises. This is contrary to church teachings.

The alternative would be for the church to build other premises outside of the church building to house homeless people. 

Also read: How to survive in the streets for homeless people.

5. Churches are Places of Worship

While it is a noble task to help the homeless, and the Bible even teaches us that we should help our neighbors, housing the homeless would beat the whole purpose of a church. A church is a place of worship and not a place to house homeless people.

However, churches can come up with initiatives like drives to help homeless people by giving them basic necessities like food. However, such provisions would have to be given by the congregants and not the church.

6. Churches are the Congregants and Not the Building

Instead of asking why can’t churches house the homeless, may be the right question would be; why can’t the congregants host the homeless? Church buildings don’t have basic necessities for homeless people like utensils, clothing, and bedding but the congregants do. So, it would be more convenient for the congregants to house the homeless in their homes than the church.

Summary of Why Churches Don’t House the Homeless

Churches don’t house the homeless because doing so would beat their whole purpose of existence. However, churches can support drives to help the homeless like encouraging their congregants to give cash in kind that can be used to support the homeless. Besides, churches are usually closed for the better part of the week making it challenging to house the homeless.

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