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Photo Credit: Lisa Johnston

VISUAL VIEWPOINT | Love in action

Providing a safe and caring alternative to homeless people shows how God cares for all

Peter & Paul Community Services in the Soulard neighborhood of south St. Louis estimates there are more than 1,000 people who live on the streets of St. Louis City each day. These people may be homeless for different reasons: unemployment, physical or mental illness, or poverty. One thing they have in common is that they have no permanent home to call their own.

Peter & Paul Community Services offers a year-round emergency shelter for homeless single adult men. The shelter provides beds, food, showers, laundry, lockers, and a safe, caring alternative to living on the street.

“This place makes me know that people care and lets me know God cares,” said Neil (who did not want to give his last name).

Neil relaxed in his bunk at the emergency shelter as he read from the book of Acts, his favorite book in the Bible besides the Gospel of St. John. This evening, when he opened his copy of the New Testament, he said all he could see on the page was the word “heaven” and that was enough to meditate on. Neil also emphasized the importance of knowing that God is love and how that changed his understanding of life.

St. Augustine defined what love looks like: “It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like.”

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