Homelessness in New York City is now at its highest levels since the Great Depression, with more than 60,000 New Yorkers sleeping in city shelters each night and thousands more sleeping on the streets, in the subway system, and in other public spaces. The large majority of our neighbors sleeping on the streets are living with mental illness and other severe health problems. The winter months are particularly difficult for those who are without shelter.
That’s why Hope for New York works alongside The Rescue Alliance, a collaboration of faith-based organizations, to host four Don’t Walk By outreaches in February (rescuealliance.nyc/dontwalkby). Each Saturday during February volunteers walk the streets of Manhattan, offering the men and women they encounter personal care kits and an invitation to return to an anchor church for a hot meal, medical care, and connection to holistic recovery programs.
Over the past decade Don’t Walk By volunteers have met more than 10,000 individuals on the streets and invited them back to a host site. Join us in praying for the outreaches happening next month — and, most importantly, for our neighbors who are experiencing homelessness.
Here are five ways you can be in prayer:
PRAY for every man, woman, and child in our city who has no place to call home. Pray that they would be connected to the resources they need to meet the most basic and essential needs and find access to shelter, adequate food, and health care.
For the needy shall not always be forgotten, and the hope of the poor shall not perish forever. (Psalm 9:18)
PRAY for the healing hand of the Lord on the men and women living on the streets. Pray that He would remove any physical, emotional, or mental barriers and illnesses they face to finding stable housing and/or employment.
The blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. (Matthew 11:5)
PRAY that the Holy Spirit would be moving during these outreaches. Pray that Jesus would meet our neighbors on the streets in undeniable ways, that they might know Him as Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:18)
PRAY for the volunteers who will be participating in the four outreaches. Pray that they would be bold in proclaiming God’s love for every single person made in His image, and that the Lord would give them hearts that are properly motivated and aligned with His.
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, and that the oppressed will be set free. (Luke 4:18)
PRAY for the organizations, including many of our affiliates, who day in and day out serve our neighbors experiencing homeless. Pray that they would be encouraged in their work and that God would ignite a fire in their hearts that allows them to endure all difficulties.
If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. (Isaiah 58:10)