Effective Compassion

Mobile mission

Effective Compassion | Connecting the homeless to physical and spiritual lifelines
by Mark Bergin
Posted 9/02/06, 12:00 am

FAIRFIELD, Calif. - A 3-acre plot of land across the railroad tracks from this bustling suburb's downtown is stirring churches, businesses, and local government leaders. Scheduled to begin this fall: construction on that land of buildings with 30,000 square feet for training and rehabilitation, along with shelters containing 158 beds for homeless men, women, and children.

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Housing starts

Effective Compassion | Charity helps families begin new lives in low-cost homes
by Anthony Mator
Posted 9/02/06, 12:00 am

FLINT, Mich. - Michael Moore buffs know Flint, Mich., as the setting of his 1989 documentary, Roger and Me, which criticized former General Motors CEO Roger Smith for closing several plants and cutting thousands of jobs in the birthplace of the world's largest automaker. Since the film's production, the Flint GM payroll has plummeted from 50,000 to 15,000, while the population has dropped from about 141,000 in 1900 to 124,000 in 2000.

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'God's house'

Effective Compassion | A return to order helps shelter reclaim lives
by Anthony Mator
Posted 9/02/06, 12:00 am

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Five years ago, when Chico Daniels became director of the downtown Guiding Light Mission homeless shelter, drug dealers threw rocks at the windows to scare him back to California. For as long as anyone could remember, the street had been calling the shots, and 255 S. Division Avenue had a reputation as a gathering place for trouble. Dealers sold drugs in the restroom, brought prostitutes into the shelter, and did what they pleased without fear of punishment.

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