As clergy in every community, we know its very hard to offer pastoral care to people who near homelessness. It’s tough to console people whose high rent forces them to choose between eating, affording a reliable car, dealing with unaffordable child care and coping with very inadequate wages. Survival is tough.
After we offer a few grocery cards and say a prayer, we pick up the phone to see if we can secure more substantial help. Sadly, what clergy too often encounter is a patchwork of organizations which can sometimes help but all too often report that they ran out of money or the person in our office does not qualify. The maze clergy encounter is but a small foretaste of the even bigger maze that the tearful parishioner in our office is having to navigate.