Carpenter's Tips and Resources
Please do not hesitate to contact us any time with questions about how to help in particular situations at Carpenter's Church or in Lubbock. Go to the Contact Us page to submit a question or request contact.
Here a some documents that we hope can be helpful when engaging at Carpenter's Church and in Lubbock:
Other Local Resources
To find other resources such as shelter, utility assistance, medical assistance, etc. simply dial 2-1-1 from any phone. You can also access their website at www.211texas.org. Let them know what kind of resources or services you need and they will direct you to the appropriate source.
This document provides some helpful do's and don'ts when engaging in the Carpenter's community.
This is a helpful resource to have with you (and copies) around town to know where to direct people panhandling for "food money". There are ample opportunities for our friends in the inner city to access free meals every day of the week.
When Helping Hurts: How To Alleviate Poverty
Without Hurting The Poor and Yourself
Steve Corbett & Brian Fikkert
Bridges Out of Poverty:
Strategies for Professionals and Communities
Philip E. DeVol, Ruby K. Payne, Terie Dreussi Smith
Living as an Ordinary Radical
Toxic Charity: How Churches and Charities
Hurt Those They Help (And How to Reverse It)
Robert D. Lupton
Radical Discipleship in a Rebellious World
Lee C. Camp
What Every Church Member Should Know
Bill Ehlig and Ruby K. Payne
A Framework for Understanding Poverty
Ruby K. Payne, Ph.D.
"What Not To Do" tips:
Don’t Go Rogue: We’ve seen so many people reinvent the wheel over and over again. Trust us, you’re not the first person to ever think of starting a shelter or taking food down to the park, so before you try something like that, ask around to see what’s already being done and what others have learned. So many times we’ve seen multiple churches and individuals give out sleeping bags at the park, not realizing they were giving someone a third or fourth bag. This kind of thing doesn’t help, it just makes us feel better and furthers the giver-receiver mentality. Before you do something like this, seek advice from us and others who work in the inner city. More energy and resources are wasted from people trying to “help” by themselves than anything else. If we really want to help the poor we need to learn from each other and coordinate our efforts.
Don’t Give Cash: We never give cash to people at Carpenter’s or on the streets, no matter how compelling the story. If you want to help, try to meet the need directly; i.e., instead of giving cash, buy a meal, fill up the tank with gas, etc. There are two primary reasons for this: One, because even with the best intentions, carrying cash around is a big temptation for most folks; and two, often there are organizations who have long-term experience and relationships with the people you want to help who are better equipped to meet the need. When you give money to someone on the streets, at Carpenter’s or at Wal-Mart, you’re contributing to a system in which materially poor people do not have to work or seek real help, you teach them to beg. Educate yourself ahead of time so that when someone asks you for money for food or general help or whatever, you can say, “You know there’s a free meal just down the street at ______.” or “So-and-so organization helps with food vouchers.”, Etc. Most of the time, the people you see pan-handling outside Wal-Mart know more than you do about where to get help, and in our experience, are largely there for reasons other than food, shelter, gas, etc.
Don’t be Unaware: Survival is an everyday reality in the inner city and people have developed all kinds of ways to survive. Sometimes manipulation and deception are used to survive and get whatever is desired. While we love and see good in everyone, we are not unaware of the potential for these things to be present in our relationships. So go slow, don’t rush in trying to save the world, listen and watch, seek the counsel of others when making big decisions. Sometimes our desire to help can blind us to problems that are beyond our ability to address. So before you buy someone a car, move them into an apartment, move them into your house, give them a job, etc. - think about it for a while, start slow and small, and seek advice from others more experienced. We also encourage you to be aware of your surroundings. We don’t want you to be fearful, just smart. We believe Carpenter’s is a safe place for all people including women and children, but, just like any public place, we need to be aware of our boundaries. The basics are: don’t be alone with anyone, especially of the opposite sex; keep physical boundaries with the opposite sex (some of this is what you’re comfortable with - most of us shake hands, but we’re not overly huggy); keep emotional/conversational boundaries, especially with the opposite sex. Many times people have broken ideas about relationships, especially with the opposite sex, and a healthy caution is the best practice.