Each year I donate a portion of sales from Janery to programs for homeless people and pets.
As the parent to four previously-homeless pets, it’s fairly obvious why I support animal rescue. But the reasons for my support of programs for the homeless may surprise you.
When I was in college, my view of homelessness changed overnight. One cold winter night, my friend got a phone call to alert him that his aunt had died. It wasn’t a peaceful death; her body was found in an icy stream in Washington DC’s Rock Creek Park.
His aunt had struggled with schizophrenia and manic depression for most of her adult life. She had trouble holding down jobs due to her mental illness, and when she was unemployed she had no access to affordable medication. Prior to her death, she had gone off her medications and became homeless in Washington DC.
It pained my friend to know that he’d only found out about her suffering when it was too late.
I was 21 at the time, and her death made a strong impression on me. Before then I hadn’t realized that:
- 60,000 of our veterans – the people who voluntarily served our country – are homeless
- At least 25% of the homeless population has a mental illness or disorder
- 28% of homeless families have fled domestic violence
- Many struggle with addiction, which is an illness requiring real treatment
This is why, in addition to helping animal rescue groups, Janery will continue to donate a portion of sales to programs for the homeless. Everyone deserves a safe place to call home. To find that, the homeless usually need resources, counseling, and most of all – for people to believe in them.
I’m currently donating to a local organization: The Lamb Center. It is a small but powerful daytime center only 10 minutes from my home.
The Lamb Center serves the homeless population by providing a warm, safe place for them to drop into if they choose, and it’s staffed by a wonderful group of volunteers from local churches. Additionally, The Lamb Center provides an extensive group of services to help guests get back on their feet:
A note about the shelter’s religious affiliation: I don’t often donate to faith-based groups, but I feel the Lamb Center is one of the most ethical and fiscally responsible organizations in the area. At The Lamb Center, services are available to anyone, regardless of participation in their bible study and worship meetings.