- Opportunities to Help
According to World Population Review, there are more than half a million people experiencing homelessness in the United States right now. 66% of the total unhoused population are single people, with the remaining percentage comprised of families.
While statistics like these are important to understand, it can be easy for the average person to reduce someone experiencing homelessness as nothing more than a number. At Fellowship Missions we treat everyone who walks in our doors as an equal, a person who needs help.
Our three key programs are designed to meet the basic needs of those facing homelessness or addiction so they can overcome the challenges that contributed to their present circumstances.
We want to help our shelter residents break the cycle of experiencing homelessness, empowering them to live full, stable lives in Warsaw, Kosciusko County, and beyond.
Homelessness In Indiana
According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, the average number of unhoused people in our state on any given night is 4,037. While we have seen the average number of those seeking shelter decrease in our state since 2020, there is still much work to do.
A large amount of those experiencing homelessness in the United States are adult veterans, with the second-highest unhoused group being young adults under the age of 25.
Addressing The Causes Of Homelessness
The factors leading someone to lose their home or become unhoused are varied, but there are several common themes we regularly encounter at Fellowship Missions.
In 2022, 15% of homeless adults were victims of domestic violence. This continues to be a driving cause of homelessness for predominantly women, children, and young adults.
If someone seeks shelter at Fellowship Missions due to domestic violence, we partner with a variety of local organizations to ensure they receive the support and safety they need.
As living costs continue to rise without an increase in affordable housing, people are forced out of their homes due to the inability to pay rent or cover their mortgage.
According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), only 5.8 million affordable rental units are available to 10.3 million renters with extremely low incomes in 2022.
In addition, even if someone qualifies for one of those rental units, often less than half of their take-home wages are left after paying rent and utilities.
Rent has increased at its fastest rate since 1986, which puts homes and apartments out of reach for an increasing number of Americans, no matter their employment status.
Mental Health Challenges
According to the American Psychological Association, rates of mental illness among those who are homeless are twice the rate found for the general population in the United States.
Not only that, 47% of homeless women meet the criteria for major depressive disorder diagnosis, which is twice the rate of women in general in our country.
Addressing mental health challenges and diagnoses of unhoused individuals is a vital part of providing supportive care and assistance.
Fellowship Missions partners with local organizations like Bowen Center, LifeWorks Counseling, McArthur Counseling, Oaklawn, and more to ensure shelter residents and program participants can access the mental health care they need.
How To Help Those Experiencing Homelessness
The problem of homelessness in our country can feel overwhelming and it’s often difficult to know where to start and how you can help.
While some solutions are at a government and systemic level, there are practical ways you can help right here in our Kosciusko County community.
Volunteer Your Time
We always need volunteers at Fellowship Missions. It doesn’t matter what skills you have or what your schedule is like, we can always find a place for you to help.
Did you know that we often host groups of volunteers from local businesses, churches, and other organizations? Local businesses also regularly donate food and other supplies we need to help our shelter run smoothly.
Our shelter needs a variety of food and supplies to ensure we can provide everything our residents and program participants need. Consider adding a few items to your weekly grocery list and drop them off at Fellowship Missions!
You can always see what items we need on our website’s Needs List or check our social media posts on Facebook and Instagram. If shopping online is more your style, we also have an Amazon Wishlist we keep updated with our latest shelter needs.
Help Raise Funds
Do you have a fundraising event in mind or want to partner with a local business to “give back” a portion of sales to benefit Fellowship Missions? Give us a call or drop us an email and we can help coordinate the details.
Do you regularly encounter unhoused individuals throughout your day? It’s always a great idea to have materials on hand about Fellowship Missions you can hand out. We have pamphlets and postcards available at our shelter location, so feel free to stop in and stock up.
Ready To Make A Difference?
If you have a love for others, a servant’s heart, and are committed to following Jesus, you could be the right fit to volunteer at Fellowship Missions. No matter what your gifts and talents are, you can be a part of helping those in our community who need it most.
From answering phone calls to helping in the kitchen to providing transportation or taking care of children. No matter what your skills are, we need your help!
If volunteering isn’t the right fit for you, please consider donating to Fellowship Missions. It’s easy to make a one-time or recurring donation online.