Please Know...

As I come to know these fine people, they share with me more of their personal and sensitive stories. Their collective story is what I am trying to share with you as my way of breaking the stereotypical beliefs that exist. "Blog names" have occasionally been given to me by the person whose story I am telling. Names are never their actual names and wherever I can do so, I might use the opposite pronoun (his/her, etc.) just to help increase their privacy.


Thursday, July 6, 2017

Supporting My "Habit"

It all started the day I first attended Urban Hope.  I didn’t know that attending a Christian concert one night last September would lead me to do this.  One thing led to another and now I’m living to experience a high the likes of which I’ve never known.  
  •  I’ve come to know and care about several homeless addicted people. 
  •  I’ve walked the tracks and prayed with a man and woman who I had just watched shoot up with heroin. 
  • I’ve walked right through active drug transactions and been very properly greeted by dealers and buyers alike as they paused their transaction out of respect for Urban Hope’s green shirt that I wear with humble pride. 
  •  I’ve given away countless granola bars and Urban Hope schedules as a way to start conversations with homeless and addicted people I meet on the street.
  •  I’ve distributed sandwiches from my car with a cocaine, heroin and alcohol addicted woman who sat in the passenger seat and called out to her homeless friends “I have sandwiches!” 
  •  I took that same woman a week later to Episcopal Hospital as she was experiencing a touch of overdose from her last hit of heroin. 
  •  I’ve seen the chin quiver and the tears flow from that same woman who watched Rick’s video and heard me explain God’s love for her.
  •  I listened to a grown man cry like a baby when his Mom visited him on the streets and reamed him out for wasting his life as a homeless addict. 
  • I was greeted by that same man who recognized me from the granola bar I handed him a month later and broke out with the greatest smile as he told me he was starting work the next Monday.
  • I saw that same man a couple weeks after that happily riding a bicycle presumably heading to or from work.
  • I’ve had a great laugh with a Lady Philadelphia Police Sergeant and an addicted woman when the woman put the sergeant’s bra (pulled from a bag of the sergeant’s donated clothes) on her head like an Easter bonnet. 
  • I was scolded by another Philadelphia Police officer who thought I was supporting an addict’s habit. When I explained what I was actually doing, the officer apologized to me.  He went on to express his thanks for my efforts and his care and concern for this addicted person with whom I was about to have lunch.
  • I’ve attended a Faith Based recovery group and heard the otherwise unknown and private stories of absolute heartbreak and how those true stories led these individuals to their drug of choice and ultimately to how our LORD redeemed them.
  • I’ve held the hands of broken men and women with the intent of praying for them and having the tables turned when they began to pray for me.
  • I’ve started carrying Narcan and almost used it three times in my first week of having it.
  • I’ve handed donated clothes to some of these people and seen the relief on their face as they’ve changed out of their clothes worn literally non-stop for a week or more.
  • I’ve seen horrendously blistered feet and eaten pepperoni pizza, cheese burgers and ice cream and shared God in the stench of unchecked body odor.
  • I’ve boldly explained to two store managers that when a particular homeless person is with me in that store, he or she will be welcome in that store.  The managers have never argued the point. 

This is my “high.”  Like the people who sit in front of the store door or stand on the street corner asking you for change which almost guaranteed, THEY WILL USE[1] to buy their next hit of the drug of their choice, I’m asking you to consider supporting me in my "habit".

My "drug of choice" is the Christ filled joy of looking into the eyes of these broken children of God and inviting them to tell me their story, to listen with God’s unconditional love as they share their story and to seek to plant seeds of Faith and Hope into their soul during whatever time of interaction I may have with them.  This is based on 1 Corinthians 3:6 New Living Translation (NLT).

I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow.

I would love to be involved in this ministry far more than I am right now.  To do so, I need your prayer and financial support.  If you would like to support me in either or both of these ways, please let me know.  Prayer is my biggest need for out of it all other resources will be available as truly needed.  

I would ask for your prayers 
  • further developing an understanding of our LORD's calling for me
  • for guidance, discernment, wisdom and safety,
  • material resources such as clothes, shoes, socks and personal products for men and women
  • networking with others who are doing this....

If you would like to financially partner with me, here’s how: 
  • You can ask me to serve you through my service business, Your Helpful Neighbor.  After all, the more income I have coming in through it, the more ministry I can do.
  • You can mail a check to me at PO Box 21, Chester Heights, Pa. 19017. 
  • If you would like to financially contribute through a 501c3 for the tax deduction I hope to have something set up soon.  Please let me know of your interest along those lines.

Thank you,
Chris Battin
My contact information in on my web site.


[1] In fairness, there are the exceptions of non-addicted people who are homeless due to other circumstances. 

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