Once a year communities across the country conduct a Point in Time Homeless Count. This survey helps local governments and organizations understand the extent of homelessness, changing trends, and the measure of their success in making homelessness rare, brief and nonrecurring.
Throughout the years, the number of homelessness continues to rise in the US. From 2018, there were 1,991 homeless individuals in emergency shelters, which increased to 16 percent in 2019 at 2,313. While in 2018, there were 1,341 individuals that were unsheltered, which increased to 8 percent in 2019 at 1,452. And while the sheer numbers can often seem overwhelming despite local efforts to find a solution, one Regnum Christi apostolate, MERCY, is going out into the streets and serving those affected in a personal way.
Jubilee of Mercy
At the heart of God, He offers mercy and love. MERCY is an apostolate launched by Regnum Christi members in the summer of 2013. Lead by Kevin Morris, the organization is in response to Pope Francis’ Call to Mercy. The Jubilee Year urged Catholics to go on a pilgrimage and to do works of charity and penance of sins.
MERCY offers this opportunity by organizing an event every month with the objective of providing an easy way for participants to perform an act of kindness or compassion. The only requirements are to show up and be an instrument of love to others. “The idea is to provide a regular, monthly opportunity for everyone to help those in need without needing to make a commitment,” said Horacio Gomez, one of the organization’s leaders.