Kind Responses to the Homeless in Idaho Falls

In the book, Same Kind of Different as Me (2006), Denver Moore said, “Most people don’t want the homeless close to em–think that they’re dirty, or got some kind of disease, or maybe they think that kind of troubled life gon’ rub off on em.  They come at Christmas and Easter and Thanksgivin and give you a little turkey and lukewarm gravy.  Then they go home and gather round their own table and forget about you till the next time come around where they start feelin a little guilty ’cause they got so much to be thankful for.

What do you do when you see a guy carrying a cardboard sign at Walmart and in need of food?

  • Pick up meal tickets at the main office of the Idaho Falls Rescue Mission.  Hand them to people that you see on the streets.  Supper is served every night at 6 pm.  Men, women, and children are able to eat a hot meal there.  (Lunch is served every day at the Soup Kitchen.)
  • They are also able to pick up food boxes.

What if someone needs a warm place to sleep for the night?

  • Emergency shelter with IFRM:  (1) for the men, it’s the City of Refuge, (2) for the women and children, it’s Evergreen.  

What if they ask for money?

  • I have taken some to gas stations and filled up their tanks.  I have helped pay utility bills.  I have sat down with homeless in truck stops or burger joints and shared a meal.  In the most simple ways, I have given out quarters to men; I shake their hands as I watch them head straight to Midget Mart or Tobacco Junction for some smokes.  I know that nicotine leads to COPD and lung cancer, but I also am in favor of extending little acts of kindness in the midst of bitterly cold days in Idaho.

What if you would like to get more involved with helping the homeless?

  • Connect with the Idaho Falls Rescue Mission facebook page.
  • Request to receive newsletters and mission mailings.
  • I have free chunks of time on Thursdays, Fridays, or Saturdays to take you on a tour of the Idaho Falls Rescue Mission:  the five shelters and two thrift stores.  Let me or one of the staff give a you a vision for the city.
  • Meet the IFRM staff spread throughout town.  Know what each of them do.  Start praying for them.
  • Regularly serve a meal to the point that you start getting to know the names of the regular homeless people who come to eat.
  • Bring your stuff not being used to the thrift stores.
  • Generously give to IFRM.  Let there be the abundant flow of financial grace giving.
  • Request a IFRM ambassador to come speak to your local congregation.  What if every church in Idaho Falls adopted one to five homeless people in our community?
  • What if you ended up finding a homeless person in town and loving them for life?

About Todd Wood

I am a servant of Jesus in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Join me in seeking Jesus in this city.
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