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There was an article from Cynthia Tucker in the paper recently about panhandlers in Atlanta. I was listening to a commentator this morning complaining about the growing homeless problem in downtown Atlanta. I used to work downtown, and I know how bad it can get.

Everyone has an opinion and a solution. In the end, it’s like putting a bandage on cancer–you’re not really addressing the cause of the problem. What’s the root of the homeless problem? A lot of it is drug and alcohol abuse. Some of it is mental illness. Some of it is unexplainable–many people seem as if they could easily do a days work.

It can’t be attacked from the outside with stronger ordinances. More shelters, while needed, aren’t the answer. Many homeless refuse to go or to ask for help. The problem started somewhere: it began with personal problems and with families. It began with brokenness and failure. It began in a neighborhood or a school that was forgotten. And no matter how much we want it to be so, the government cannot fix the problems from the outside; otherwise, it would be fixed.

Only one entity has the vision, power, and resources to heal the broken and complete the incomplete–the church.

We need to get off our butts, there’s work to do.


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