My friend Derwyn recently wrote a blog about social justice; at some point everyone does this. It reminds me of how every girl with a cheap camera has dreamed about and experimented with being a professional photographer……but I digress.
Derwyn starts us off with a short story and then follows it up with a whole pile of questions which, if you were to answer them, are seemingly contradictory. At risk of sounding snarky and verging on liable, I think one of the most irrelevant questions that he asked was “What would Jesus do?” More on this soon. However, there are piles of very significant questions asked that, to the honest pursuer, should easily keep you up at night (i.e. note the time of this post).
Try and track with me for the following moments while I try to answer one of his questions: Would Jesus have given him just the $1 coin or would he have given $2?
There are roughly 195,000 homeless people in Canada.
Our last Canada Census puts the Canadian population at 30,007,094 in 2001; however, given one birth every one minute and 33 seconds, one death every two minutes and 14 seconds, and a net migration gain of one person every 2 minutes and 41 seconds, the Canadian population now weighs in at ‘lots of land for everyone still.’ Roughly 32,554,754 people.
Now, according to IPSOS-REID, 84% of these people believe in a Christian/Jewish God while only 20% of these, roughly one in five, regularly attend a church or synagogue. That is 6,510,950 people that go to church every Sunday. And, you might ask, where do they go to church? They go to small churches; Barna Research Group has found that the average attendance of churches in America (which I am going to assume to be similar here in not-America) is smaller then 90. Do you know approximately how many churches there are in Canada then? About 72,343.
195,000 homeless people in Canada, a third of whom are 16-24 years old; huge problem right? Wrong. Small problem if the church in Canada would only respond. Divide the number of homeless people by the number of churches in Canada and you have a relatively small problem; 2.6 people per church. Not so bad is it? Could a group of 90 people adopt and support 3 people? I think so.
Here are the numbers.
- Let’s budget a $1000/month to cover rent, food, and miscellaneous x 3 people: $3000.
- Each group of 90 people would need to give $36,000/year which only equals $33/month/person. $33 a month?!
- Did I mention that this would be an annual budget of $214,861,350?
The big problem isn’t the massive homeless population in Canada; the big problem is the massive apathetic church population in Canada. So Derwyn, to answer your question shortly, I don't think it is what Jesus would do; I think it is what we could do. A dollar a day....
Derwyn has writen a follow up story about his experiences panhandling downtown Vancouver. You can check it out here.