Spend ten minutes with a mom with little kids. Watch how she allows them to wander around a bit....but she rarely lets them get beyond an arm's length. You see that with puppies too....the doggie mom will allow her brood to get out and explore a bit, but, come night time, she's rounded them up and and have them safely around her.
A good community will do well to emulate those mommies. We're blessed to have several agencies that try to gather in society's "stragglers" and help them connect with community.
One such organization here in Phoenix is called the Golden Gate Community Center. The organization was started in 1936 by a sweet hearted group in the Episcopal Church who took our Creator's message seriously....that a good shepherd will always look after the "stragglers".
Now in it's 79th year the Golden Gate Community Center has been rescuing the lost. That effort was enhanced in the early 50's when the Phoenix Junior League donated $10,000 dollars to give Golden Gate a home.
The community center, manned by community volunteers, do wondrous things to bring the lost sheep back into the fold. They'll feed them, give them clean clothes, give them a place to clean up, find them a sleeping shelter, and give those lost sheep hope that they can rise and stand on their two feet once again.
They'll help a homeless man fill out an application for a Social Security Card...so he can work, or collect earned benefits. They'll give a single mom career counseling and help her fill out an application for work. They sweep up senior citizens and bring them to the center...to socialize with each other, to have a meal, or even teach them how to operate a computer so that they can communicate with their loved ones or connect to the world outside.
The center has a wealth of youth programs....to get the kids off the street, give them a basketball court or playground ...a place to spend time in a safe and loving environment.
Golden Gate holds health fairs and immunization clinics and teach English as a Second Language, give citizenship test training, tutors children needing special care. They even have programs to help grandparents who are now raising their "children's children".
I've lived in Arizona for eleven years now and I've never seen such private charities as the ones offered here for folks that need it. The Golden Gate Community Center is just one of dozens of agencies who do it, not to seek a government handout, not to aspire to be another government bureaucracy...but because they believe we should all be good shepherds and tend to "all of the flock".
God bless them.