Enable: 1) To give someone or something the authority or means to do something; 2) To make (a device or system, or let me offer…person) operational; activate

In the recovery world and often in the world of people experiencing homelessness, the word “enable” has taken on a negative connotation.

Recovery experts tell us that we should not “enable” our addict to continue in his/her addiction. They aren’t wrong. Many well-meaning people say that those experiencing homelessness should not be given a handout because it “enables” them. Maybe so. While these can, in fact, be accurate statements, I’d like for you to consider “enable” from a different point of view.

Let me offer this perspective. What if we “enable” our addict to see his/her worth in Christ by loving them as Christ would?  This kind of enabling can give someone “the authority or means” to see another direction other than the path of destruction in the life of addiction or homelessness. Recognizing that God loves you and wants good things for you is very empowering and “enabling.”  For someone experiencing homelessness…rather than a handout, what if it’s a hand-up? What if this person finds someone willing to walk alongside them and lend support as they “enable” themselves to reconnect with family, rebuild relationships, find a job, and find a safe place to stay? A person who is “activated” to do something to change his/her circumstances for the better is someone who can become a contributing and functioning member of society.  They become “operational” and no longer depend on others for all of their needs. I believe this helps everyone.

At HOPE Missions of the Upstate, we offer services and resources six days a week that are designed to “enable” our friends to live healthy and productive lives. We want our friends to know and experience the love of Christ and the hope for their own lives through our loving and dedicated staff, volunteers, and donors. We want our friends to value their own worth so that they can turn away from their addictions or their homelessness and be secure and hopeful. Our desire is that we are all “activated” to live a Christ-filled life.

It would be very hard for me to give you a comprehensive and accurate list of what is available at HOPE Missions. So many of the things that happen are intangible. You can’t see the change in someone’s heart, but you can experience it. So many things happen during our “open hours” from 7:00-10:00 am, Monday through Saturday. We have devotions each morning, we serve food, we provide hygiene items, we offer clothing, we have Bible Studies, we build relationships and offer supporting services. However, many things also happen behind the scenes or late at night when others aren’t around. Our Housing Navigator, Services Navigator, and Care Coordinator are relentless in pursuing options for our guests.  Many of the services that we offer require us to request funding, write grants, and, yes, beg our social media friends to donate items or money. BUT, the best things offered at HOPE Missions every day are FREE to everyone…. the hope and love that comes from belonging to our faithful Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

If you want to see what is on offer, please come by “the Mission” at 213 S. Towers, Anderson, SC, and meet our wonderful staff, volunteers, and friends. Come and get involved. Bring your pastors and your youth leaders. You will be blessed by your experience.

3 thoughts on “Enabling – the Right Way

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