In Focus: Something to think about in your warm bed

November 1, 2013 

The Union Gospel Mission, in its ongoing quest to meet the needs of the homeless in the Tri-Cities, is making plans to move from its old spot in Pasco to a much-needed new home a few blocks away.

But, like everything else worth doing, it will take time, money, effort and planning and to provide the warm clothing and food needed to meet the needs of those the mission serves during the construction and transition to a new building. In 2010, the number of meals served for the homeless went well over 68,000, and the lodging for that same year exceeded 33,500 overnight stays.

In 2011, those same numbers jumped to over 79,000 meals served and more than 40,000 nights’ lodgings.

In 2012, those numbers dropped by only a few hundred, and the 2013 numbers, which are not yet fully available, are on track to match those of 2011 and 2012.

With those kinds of numbers, the complexity of trying to feed, house and clothe the homeless — and make a major move at the same time — is apparent.

Those of you who have moved at least once in your life can appreciate what I’m saying and the logistical challenge of this kind of undertaking.

Raise Your Tents for homeless awareness and the Union Gospel Mission are again in great need of your help this year. We started our fundraiser by erecting the donations tent at the CUP Church in Richland on Saturday and will continue to collect donations at the site all this week.

On Wednesday, we will be pitching our tents at John Dam Plaza with a taco feed at 5 p.m. Thursday. On Saturday, starting at 8 a.m., we will have our annual pancake breakfast for those who wish to come out in support of the homeless. Remember also that homelessness is not only for adults. Wherever you have adults who are homeless, you have children and babies as well.

Winter can present its own set of deadly dynamics for the homeless. Please be generous with warm children’s clothes, diapers and baby food.

Some of America’s heroes also have come home from foreign wars to homelessness and are in need of your generosity and the giving spirit of Americans everywhere.

It is for the benefit of those less fortunate who have lost their homes, livelihoods, and in some cases their families that your help is needed until the rebuilding can start and they can stand on their own two feet and become part of the community again.

It is only through the giving and wisdom of this community that this can be accomplished. It is by the weight and measure of what we do as a civilized society that will determine the sum of who and what we are.

For more info contact Ben Cook at 460-9322 or

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