We Are The River.
In the spirit of Micah 6:8’s call for us to “do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly”, we dream of ending homelessness in two ways.
- We must help those who have fallen into “the river” of homelessness by meeting their immediate needs.
- We must work to upstream on “the river” to remove the underlying causes of homelessness.
- We want to build trusting mutual relationships with the chronically homeless people in our neighborhoods.
- We strive to meet the immediate needs of food, clothing, and mental health/medical assistance for those experiencing homelessness in our community.
- We aim to collaborate with highly competent community partners who are experts in housing, employment solutions, addiction and mental health needs for Atlanta’s homeless.
- We will join economic and political advocacy action that reduces the systemic causes of homelessness in our communities.
- We will create a sustainable homeless program, both financially and organizationally, that will drive transformative change in how we respond to and view homelessness.
The River’s mission is to transform the way we respond to and view homelessness, and our core values drive how we achieve that goal, and serve as our “North Star” in the work that we do.These five values define “who we are” and how we behave.
- Community – We know we are not in this effort alone, but with the engagement of the community and the city. We encourage conversations, across diverse communities, that educate and challenge us.
- Compassion – Without judgment, we will listen to the needs, dreams, and challenges of those experiencing homelessness, act based on our understanding, and partner with organizations that share this value.
- Trusting and Mutual Relationships – Our relationships with those we help, and those with whom we partner, are the keys to transformative change. We’ll create mutual agreements with both, keeping our promises, as we expect others to keep those made to us.
- Integrity and Stewardship – We will harness and allocate resources with our values in mind, and do what we say we are going to do.
- Transformative and Competent Action – We see our work as something that demands change and outcomes from our partners, and for our friends experiencing homelessness. And, we will collaborate with organizations that share our goals, can demonstrate and deliver agreed upon outcomes.
We need to love mercy and do justice.
We are teaming with our principal partners and other providers, to end homelessness with these service offerings:
The River is not an intellectual approach to “fix” the homeless “problem.”
These are people—sisters and brothers—and our strategy is to make them also our friends. WE are not going to “fix” THEM. We are going to ask them to walk with us and let us walk with them. We are going to ask them to teach us, tell us their stories, share their gifts with us.
Someone once wanted to be a disciple of Jesus, but Jesus tried to warn them off. Apparently, they either were looking for a reward or thought they had their act together. Jesus warned them by saying, “Foxes have holes and birds have nests, but the Human One has no place to lay his head.” Then as now, this was a challenging issue, one for which not all disciples are prepared. Want to avoid the subject? Well, that means avoiding the Homeless One to whom we pray.
Together, we are going to learn to swim.