The Milt Matthews Foundation For The Homeless
Twenty five years ago my wife, Linda and I, set out on a journey to make a difference in the lives of the homeless community. We use a three-fold process of Salvation, Renewal, and Productivity to help eradicate homelessness. The Milt Matthews Foundation established in 1991, serves to rebuild lives through training, counseling, education, and empowerment. Later in 2000, the Back to Basics Church, an umbrella of the Foundation, was established to serve the spiritual needs of the homeless. It is a place where the homeless can be the "center of the congregation" and grow spiritually. Although there are many churches that serves the needs of the homeless, I felt that they needed nurturing beyound, "sitting in the back pew", annual food drives and clothing distribution. Certainiy, all these things contribute to their well-being and should NOT be diminished, but I found that having a trusting extended-family relationship made all the difference in the end. Like all of us, they need the "love" of a family and God in their lives. Through the Foundation, and the Back to Basics Church, countless individuals who were once homeless have gone from sleeping in abandoned cars, under bridges and in homeless shelters to a life of complete restoration. Indeed, we were called to comfort the poor and to provoke the "comfortable" to do more. Ultimately the question becomes: Has the 21st Century Church done enough in its mandate to help the poor? A self-examination of the conditions of the streets will speak for itself. Will we rise to the occasion? After all, life could have dealt a different hand to us all. Finally, to see many of these men and women who were once homeless reach back and want to make a difference in the lives of other homeless people and be contributing members to society is one of my greatest rewards. Ultimately, it is our moral obligation to this great universe.