Dan’s Online Diary 

# 3.4.03 by Dan
greg has pointed out that many homeless people suffer from mental illness(es). This is something I had noticed, but hadn't considered, if you know what I mean.
Having thought about this point briefly, I'd now like to comment on it, briefly.
It would be most interesting to know whether or not the majority of homeless people who now have a mental illness were displaying symptoms of mental illness at the time they became homeless. Does being homeless encourage the onset of mental illness?(a) or does mental illness promote homelessness?(b) If it is the latter, (b), then we, as society, are in part responsible for their homelessness, for indeed, we have failed to support them. However, (please excuse the fact that I have no expertise whatsoever in this field) I might hazard to guess that many of these homeless people did lead comparatively normal lives up to the point where difficult circumstances have promoted homelessness, and their subsequent poverty, loss of dignity, loss of comfort, loss of friendship, loss of pride, loss of work etc. has affected their mental state to the point where they have become unstable. So this then begs the quesiton : if their dignity, pride, comfort, work, friendship, etc were to be restored, would they regain their mental stability?

But regardless of whether it is (a) or (b) that is true, we all have a responsiblity : to support those in need, whether they are currently homeless, or potentially homeless.
But on top of all this, we must recognise that simply meeting their physical needs is not sufficient to redeem their lives. We must seek to bring Christ to them, for He alone can satisfy their spiritual need. He who is in Christ lacks no good thing.

Enjoyed the first of a series of studies on the 'Westminster Confession of Faith', last night. Given that it is something to which I have sworn my agreeance as a condition of my church membership, I am really in ignorance of much of its content. Basically, our study is a read through with discussion, with the large part of yesterday evening's session being an introduction to the document. Excellent stuff. Will comment on this more at a later date.