A Note from Chris Adams: I love watching leaders of women who have such compassionate hearts for the hurting. Today, Dr. Deb Douglas, First Baptist Church, Bossier City, LA , shares her heart for those moms who are homeless. Just recently she put a homeless mom up in a hotel and is looking for permanent housing for her and her baby. Let’s learn from her as she offers other ideas for how we can minister to them.
Babies are adorable! They smell lovely and cuddle sweetly. Their every movement is a symphony of God’s amazing birth process. Babies are born without prejudice, without hate, without any worries except to be loved, fed, and allowed to sleep.
Stop and think about something: homeless women have babies too. And homeless babies born to homeless moms have the same needs as babies born into comfy, cozy middle class families.
Every town, every area of the United States, has homeless moms. It’s a truth that most of us do not want to consider but unfortunately there are homeless moms and homeless families everywhere. The circumstances that led to their homelessness are numerous, but all have needs we can meet.
We can make a difference in the lives of homeless moms and homeless babies! Here are just a few ways we can help:
Shower with love. Every mom loves a baby shower. Invite all the church moms (whether they know the mom or not). Make the shower fun and beautiful, just like a normal shower in the church. Provide a list of practical things the mom will need:
- Diapers and wipes
- Onesies, simple infant clothes (Homeless moms have no place to store clothes for the future so purchase what is needed for now.)
- Baby soap, shampoo, and lotion
- A good stroller with plenty of storage space
- Bottles or nursing pads depending on if the mom wishes to breastfeed
- Gift cards for future needs
Share Jesus. As the mom’s physical needs are met, do not neglect her greatest need. Share Christ’s love.
Secure the baby’s future. Help mom get to prenatal appointments, birthing classes, and parenting classes.
Shelter the mom. Check out local resources to find a suitable, safe home for the mom and baby.
Meet other practical needs like childcare, employment, education for the mom, and parenting classes.
Think about mom and baby’s future. Don’t forget about them after the baby is born. Continue to check on them, encourage them, and mentor the mom.
Encourage church moms to embrace mom and baby by building relationships. Educate church members about the challenges homeless moms face. Simple things we take for granted are major obstacles to the homeless.
Include mom and baby in women’s events, Bible studies, and worship services. Be sure to provide transportation. (Hint: provide clean “church” clothes for mom and baby)
There’s more that I could write about homeless moms and babies, but I’m off to a baby shower for a homeless mom. She’s having a girl and she’s tickled pink over having a shower!
Dr. Deb Douglas has served in women’s ministry for over 37 years. Now she spends her time working with Purchased Ministry, a ministry to women in the sex trade industry. Deb is also the Director of Biblical Counseling at First Baptist Church, Bossier City, LA. She was the first to graduate from New Orleans Baptist Theological seminary with a Masters degree focusing on women’s ministry and has earned a Doctor of Education in Ministry degree from NOBTS. She is “Pearl” to 3 sweet grand babies, “Mom” to Jared Douglas and Katie Chavis, and wife/sweetheart to Paul Douglas.