A report from the Costs of War project at Brown University revealed that 20 years of post-9/11 wars have cost the U.S. an estimated $8 trillion and have killed more than 900,000 people. America has given roughly $76 billion in support to Ukraine, which has broken into military, humanitarian, and financial aid. Engaging the same money we have provided to Ukraine to fight Putin would build Hospitals for the mentally ill, rehab facilities for those with hopeless addictions, and housing for people experiencing homelessness. The eight trillion spent on the Iraq/Afghanistan wars and the one-hundred billion in Vietnam would stomp out homelessness. Sadly, America has priorities, and taking care of Americans seems to be down the list.
I was once homeless with two young boys. In 1987, I traveled to Seattle in search of work. Our home in Seattle was a tent in Saltwater State Park. I never considered us homeless because I had great hope things would work out, surrounded by families living in tents searching for work and a way out. Our immediate neighbors included grandma and grandpa, who had their belongings in a chest of drawers in the back of a pickup. My story included a triumphant ending; I found work and eventually an apartment. We still slept on the floor in our sleeping bags until we had a couple of paychecks to buy furniture at a second-hand store. Fast forward to 1993, after a failed attempt at business leading to a personal bankruptcy, we found ourselves close to being on the streets again. We needed to move to Washington, D.C., to find work. I tell you my past as my credentials for understanding hopelessness and poverty. I credit God’s Grace for getting me out of those painful situations—God’s Grace and a work ethic Linda and I inherited from our parents. I did have two other factors that helped: marketable skills I gained in the Navy and my acceptance of hard work pays. Both of my desperate times on the street occurred from bad decisions in challenging times when jobs were scarce. So, I am perplexed by the current situation of growing homelessness and plentiful jobs. Why are eight million men not wanting to work?
What does the Bible say about not working? The Bible says plenty about laziness. 2 Thessalonians 3:10 makes it clear.
For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.
Yesterday, I traveled one hundred miles to the nearest “big city” with a Home Depot to pick up materials for the current must-do projects before winter. I saw help-wanted signs everywhere and men and women on the streets begging for money, standing twenty feet from a help-wanted sign. Later that day, I recognized them at the local Holiday Inn explain that. One word—laziness. But setting aside the lazy non-performers. What about the rest of the 500,000 homeless in America?
A criminal record, mental health, and drugs could significantly affect their situation. According to the 2022 Housing and Urban Development Homeless Report, not all homeless are unemployed; as many as 50% have employment. I knew many homeless when I lived in Hawaii. I would walk Oneola Beach, and scattered in the bushes and along the shore were God’s people living in tents and going to work every day. As I walked the beach and talked with tent city citizens, I remembered only by God’s Grace I had a home to lay my head. The cost of housing in Hawaii is far beyond the reach of Hawaiians and people who came to Hawaii hoping for a paradise. Hawaii has the third highest homeless rate in America because housing in Hawaii is unaffordable for Hawaiians.
The answer is America needs to return to its roots in God. America needs to reprioritize the people’s money and invest in America, but that is not profitable for the Washington D.C. fat cat politicians. To them, war pays well. I will get a bit political here that the top states with homelessness and the States that amount to over 70% of people experiencing homelessness are Liberal Democratic States. Liberal State governments have tried to eliminate God from every facet of the State, from California post-birth abortion to teeing down the Ten Commandments in courts. It makes perfect sense that if you eliminate God, you will allow evil in, and things go bad, then worse, then madness sets in. Put God first, trust in Jesus, and hope will return.
Our Lord was functionally homeless; He and His disciples stayed in the homes of those who would take them in (see Luke 10:6–8).
“Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head” (Matthew 8:19–20; Luke 9:57–58).
When Jesus walked the earth, He came across many homeless; he healed, encouraged them, and sent them on their way. Jesus allowed them to change their life; Jesus didn’t build them a house. I know all things are possible with God, yet God expects us to work. God placed us in the Garden to work.
The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.—Genesis 2:15
I have witnessed men and women who picked themselves up, quit the booze and drugs, accepted God into their lives, found work, and changed their lives. I have family who have been raised from skid-row by the grace of God.
35 For I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger, and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes, and you clothed me, I was sick, and you looked after me, I was in prison, and you came to visit me.’
With God, All Things Are Possible—Matthew 19:23-26
23 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” 25 When His disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” 26 But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men, this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible.”