One of the things I like best about Austin is the community-mindedness of most of its residents. People here don't ignore social problems. They identify the causes, make plans, raise money, and try to solve problems at the root. Our city isn't always successful, and we miss problems all the time, but by and large, our city doesn't have the same kind of apathy that's all-too-common elsewhere.
There's a nice article about one of those programs in the paper today. The Interfaith Hospitality Network helps homeless families transition into permanent housing and steady employment, while temporarily housing families at Austin churches. My church is part of IHN. Once a quarter, we host four families who are trying to make their lives better. The families I have met while volunteering at IHN have all been wonderful people who've just had a run of bad luck in their lives, and who are doing their best to get back on track. The parents want the same things we all want: decent housing, enough food to eat, and a way to raise happy, healthy children.
I am glad that we can play a small role in helping homeless families rebuild their lives. I am thankful and proud that we work with other churches and temples to be part of a community solution to the problem of homelessness.