"...we must have a willingness to do what is necessary."
Our goal at Catholic Charities of Acadiana is to provide our clients with what they need. That could be a free meal, a warm shower, shelter, or all of the above. We strive to meet the basic needs of our clients. Our ultimate goal is that each of our clients gain self-sufficiency. We have seen that by providing an overabundance of assistance, our clients become dependent.
Robert Lupton's book, Toxic Charity, sheds light on this subject. He says,
"To do for others what they have the capacity to do for themselves is to disempower them."
How can we continue to help those who are suffering without disempowering them? Lupton suggests that we, "subordinate self-interests to the needs of those being served." We are to humble our desires and our ideas of what those experiencing homelessness are in need of. We respond to the needs of our clients, but we also encourage them to utilize their resources if they are able to acquire items on their own. Dignity is restored when we are able to do for ourselves.