12 Days of Social Justice: Day 3

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Day 3: Trafficking and Homelessness 
Read:
In DC, when temperatures drop below freezing, the government provides emergency shelter for the homeless population–but only for those who are 18 and older. There is no mandate to provide emergency shelter for youth 12-17 and DC only has 10 dedicated beds for this age group.

Last year, Covenant House and Fordham University released a study entitled “Homelessness, Survival Sex, and Human Trafficking”, which surveyed a random sample of 173 homeless youth between 18-23 years old in New York. The study found that 1 in 4 youth had been trafficked or engaged in survival sex. Shelter was the largest commodity (48%) traded for sexual activity. Additionally, many in the “adult” homeless population are forced to engage in survival sex; many more have been sexually assaulted and raped.

There is an undeniable link between homelessness and sexual exploitation.

So how should we respond? With Biblical hospitality or philoxenia, which literally means “brotherly love of strangers.” Hospitality in first century Israel was a serious matter. Numerous examples in the Bible demonstrate how hosts opened their homes to guests–even at great inconvenience and risk. In 2015, NCC ASE is partnering with Friendship Place to find temporary housing for trafficking survivors. The initial pilot will aim to place five survivors in homes.

When Christ took human form to live among His creation, He didn’t do it because it was fun. He acted because it was necessary. This housing pilot is a new initiative and it will be difficult, uncomfortable, inconvenient–but it’s also necessary. Will you help us?

Examine:

  • What are your assumptions about the homeless population in your city?
  • In what ways have you recently demonstrated Biblical hospitality?
  • When was the last time God put you in an uncomfortable position to bring glory to His name and how did you respond?

Apply/Action:

Pray:

  • Pray for wisdom for NCC ASE and Friendship Place leadership as we set up the pilot project.
  • Pray for people to open up their homes to survivors.
  • Pray for opportunities to share and experience Christ’s love through Biblical hospitality.
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