Churches Partner to Offer Hope to the Homeless

By Jennifer Taylor

Damon Mendel was once homeless and broke, sitting on a street corner in Las Vegas, Nevada. Today he helps lead 249 & Hope, a ministry to the homeless on Texas Highway 249 in Cypress, Texas.

Mendel, his wife, Jackie, and Dave Chavez, missions pastor at Cy-Fair Christian Church (also in Cypress), launched the ministry in November 2010. Each Saturday morning volunteers from Cy-Fair and partner church Graceview Baptist meet to load cars with hot food, hygiene kits, new socks, and other donations. The volunteer teams visit eight different street corners each Saturday.

“Sometimes we’ll also have sleeping bags, tents, or clothes to give away,” says Randy Brockley, a 249 & Hope volunteer. “Church members make the food at home; usually pasta or something else that’s easy to make for a large group. For many of the homeless people we serve, it’s the most nutritious meal they’ll get all week.”

But the food is just a way to open the door for relationships.

“We always offer to pray with each person and ask about his needs,” Brockley says. “Sometimes an individual will cry just because someone has acknowledged him and paid attention.”

In the 18 months since 249 & Hope began, volunteers have also helped the homeless of their community with rehab opportunities, jobs, and to connect with estranged family members.

Brockley admits he used to be one of the people who ignored the homeless on the street corners of his city, and initially found it difficult to visit them.

“Now I know who they are and what their stories are,” he says. “After awhile, they’re not ‘the homeless’—they’re friends.”

www.cfccnet.org

—Jennifer Taylor

 

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3 Comments

  1. L.V. Spencer
    August 17, 2012 at 7:19 am

    This is a tremendous program, with lives being impacted and changed.

  2. Damon Mendel
    August 17, 2012 at 8:48 am

    It was a ministry similar to 249 & Hope that led my family off the streets and to Christ!

    A women’s ministry in Las Vegas was passing out water and new believer Bibles at the bus stop I was sitting at. The young lady offered me a prayer and some hope. I then found the church address on one of the items she handed me and walked to the church. Middle of the week, the pastor happened to be there and invited me in, he showered me with the unconditional love of Jesus. Then Christ led me down a road of forgiveness, and I began to forgive, freeing me and my family from addiction, anger, pride, and homelessness! Praise God! I am still friends today with the young lady who stepped out of her comfort zone and prayed with me at that bus stop 6 years ago.

  3. August 17, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    If you are interested in serving our 249&HOPE friends in the Cypress/249 area. Please contact me at mlucas99@sbcglobal.net or 281-257-8896. We meet every Saturday at 9:30am, Cy Fair Christian Church, 9930 Grant Rd.
    THANKS for doing good work!

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