Monthly News Letter from First Step Back Home

First Step Back Home, Inc (FSBH) is a 501c3 not-for-profit corporation chartered as a faith based Christian ministry organized to help single homeless men achieve financial independence and self sufficiency. FSBH primarily serves critical, chronic, temporary, transient and working single homeless males in St. Charles, Lincoln, and Warren Counties in Missouri.

Paul Kruse founded FSBC informally in mid 2005 while conducting an existing ministry providing worship services to transient Truckers in the lounge at the T/A truck stop facilities in Foristell, MO A homeless man.



HEAVEN HELP US!!!

Seven and a half years later and we are still overwhelmed, underfunded and understaffed
to handle the 150 to 200 calls for help we get every week. Where do these people come
from? After 5000 people we have helped in 71/2 years and multiply that to an extent by
350 agencies in St. Charles, Lincoln and Warren Counties you would think we would be
gaining ground. But no the need is still way more than the amount of help there is out
there.

Well, I recently gave a presentation to our new Crossroads Community Coalition group
of Wentzville of about 60 and gave the only reasons for the problem I could think of.
The main cause I believe is and has always been mental handicaps. Low wage earners,
socially deficient, relational problems, quick to anger and speak (which the Bible says
to watch out for), legal irresponsibility, not focused on employment or career, lack of
education, stuck in the welfare system, lack of ambition and letting others support them,
bad and uncaring parents, alcohol, drugs, laziness, not trusting in God, economy, lack of
jobs and more. Guess I answered my own question! But what I said in the presentation to
be less specific was a new report came out about the census and wage earnings.

The St. Charles County wage information publication shows that a family of 1 adult and
2 children (Which we see the most of these days, single Moms), shows a living wage
is $21.88 per hour or $45,510 per year. Most of the clients like this we see are lucky to
make $8.00 per hour and to start is a minimum wage of $7.25. Also a poverty wage is
$8.80 per hour or $18,301 per year. So here we have people making $27, 209 less than
it takes to live a descent life making a poverty level wage. Not to mention at minimum
wage that is $15,080 per year which is much worse at $30,430 less than a living wage.
What is wrong with people? Consequently, a homeless person making $0 is $45,510 per
year in the whole they will probably never get out of. Come on guys something has to
give.

The poverty level figure only shows about 10% of the population living in poverty. Oh
no, they need to look at the living wage and less earnings to determine what the real story
is. They need to subtract the number of people earning less than a living wage from the
number of people who are earning a living wage then report the number of people who
cannot support themselves without outside help. Nobody publishes that because that
would make our country look bad. Well being on the front lines of social work I can
tell you it is bad! My estimation in Missouri is about half of the people can’t support
themselves and that is because of the above earnings vs. living wage figures. Now the
reason for this is another whole message but some reasons are listed above.

Then people say, “well they are on welfare or disability then they are ok.”( about 2.5
million out of 6 million in Mo. are on welfare) that’s even worse. You have to be
destitute to get any welfare and when you do get it ( which could take years), only
amounts to about an average of $650 per month income. That is only half of the
minimum wage. To me this picture is very bleak, disgusting and should be a disgrace to
all of us.

Well, the only answer I see is for those who are making a living wage to share with the
ones who need help supporting themselves. But as we do in our ministry we make sure
the ones we help are not just looking for a handout because we only give them a hand up.
Best logo I have ever seen is, “Heart to God and Hand to Man” Salvation Army’s logo.
Isn’t that just perfect? Amen and Amen! We require out clients to submit 15 applications
per day for work and make a record of them or we can’t help them. There are plenty of
$8/hr. jobs out there. We see most of our clients doing this and fortunately about 50%
get jobs and are able to pay their own motel bills using this approach. Of course we
don’t have the staff or funding to watch over them every day to make sure they remain
gainfully employed but we try to check with them occasionally to see if they need any
help remaining stable.

I feel using this approach, many more people should be helping the poor and needy.
Sometimes all it takes is counseling, $20 in gas, $50 towards a utility or house payment
and on and on. But the main thing is we need to show the Love of God to others in need.
We have found when we do that God shows up and blesses you and the person you are
helping in ways you could never imagine.

We can train anyone to do this and you will never experience anything like the Love of
God flowing through you to a hopeless and helpless person and watch God’s miracles
heal them and make them whole again. We Love You Lord!!!

For more information about First Step Back Home's ministry, check out their website at http://www.firststepbackhome.net/