Connie and I came into the ministry in the early 1990s. Working directly with homeless and impoverished people over the years has taught us so much. When we first started, we believed homelessness was the result of a lack of housing, employment, or money, which was the common perception. Experience, however, has shown us that the primary cause of homelessness is actually the lack of relational resources.
When we examine our country, we find that family units are breaking down with an increasing measure causing homelessness to grow year after year despite the billions being poured out to ‘fix' it. We wish it were as easy as giving people houses, jobs, money, etc., because then we would no longer have a homeless problem. In reality, broken relational resources are leaving people in a shattered state of existence.
The ones who are most vulnerable are the children because their lives move from one chaotic event to the next where abuse, neglect, and self-loathing become all they know. They are shaped by this trauma and grow up searching for anything to relieve their pain, often turning to drugs, alcohol, and and unhealthy relationships. One fix leads to the next and homelessness is the outcome. Before they know it they are raising kids of their own in the same broken reality they were shaped by.
Without intervention, homelessness cycles from generation to generation pulling more people into its horrific realities. Our hope with the resources on this website is for you to see homelessness for what it truly is in our community and to understand what can make a difference in the lives of those trapped in it. We hope to initiate a paradigm shift in the way people view and approach homelessness altogether because we have found that homelessness does not have to be a life sentence.
— Scott Payne
ICM Executive Director