Valley pastor discusses purpose behind serving those experiencing homelessness

Jun 12, 2023, 8:00 PM

(Facebook Photo/Veterans Rescue Mission)...

(Facebook Photo/Veterans Rescue Mission)

(Facebook Photo/Veterans Rescue Mission)

PHOENIX — The Veterans Rescue Mission in Phoenix is a local organization that seeks out homeless veterans in order to connect them to critical services and benefits.

Pastor Jonathan McClain is a member of the organization who, prior to finding the Veterans Rescue Mission, found himself a homeless combat veteran following the Iraq War.

“I had a pastor that worked with me and kind of held my hand, for lack of a better phrase, to help me through the process of getting connected with housing, with counseling, with a job, with the services that I needed to find my purpose,” McClain told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show on Monday.

“And thankfully, that purpose was Veterans Rescue Mission, where we now every year go out to the streets, locate homeless veterans, get them back to our homeless veteran, tiny house village and transition center and get them connected with housing and benefits, as well.”

McClain said he believes veterans could have fallen into homelessness because of their survival skills, comfortability of camping out and things of that nature.

“But thankfully, whether it’s a civilian population I’m working with or the veteran population, I’m working with the process of going from having little to nothing to independence is pretty much the same process,” McClain said.

This will be the thirteenth year where members of the Veterans Rescue Mission, including McClain, set off to live on the street for up to one month, where an outdoor shelter is temporarily stationed outside of one of the parks.

During the day, members of the organization provide service information, and during the night, they are handing out sleeping bags and working to provide a safe place for people to sleep, McClain said.

“There is no one solution. The solution is as many solutions as possible,” McClain said.

Here is a list of resources to donate to organizations who serve those experiencing homelessness or if you or someone you know needs help.

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Valley pastor discusses purpose behind serving those experiencing homelessness