M25:35 is not only committed to servicing the homeless community, we advocate for the re-establishment of homeless individuals into economic independence and self-sustainability. We are not intending to “only feed” homeless people because to a degree, that alone would never present them with the avenues of growth and development needed to come out of those crippling conditions.
The goal and objectives appear short-sighted at times because as the mission reveals itself at new levels, our perspectives change. With the change of perspective, there must be a change of approach. The target we aimed at from centerfield becomes more clear and more hittable from the pitcher’s mound. In the ever-so-popular comic book series Spider-Man, Peter Parker’s paternal figure Uncle Ben told him, “With great power, comes great responsibility.” This is equally true when it comes to the responsibility of serving the homeless community. We are given the ‘power’ in a sense to impact, influence, and inspire, one life at a time. The dilemma we face is that there are countless numbers of homeless people and our influence may not be influential enough to reach them all. The proverbial headache is too big for the pill.
It calls to mind the timeless echoes of John Donne, “No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.” No man is an island, and neither are we. This mission is not solely our mission; we are a part of something much greater. This understanding forces us to be mindful of our unworthiness to be allowed to serve in this capacity. It pushes us to remain humble and always be aware that even those sent to offer help, need help sometimes.
- We need help from our sponsorship partners. The food suppliers, our advertisement donations, and our business sponsors give freely and without fail behind the curtains, enabling us to continue to do what we are called to do. We need that help. For the first few months, M25-35.ORG was operating from the pockets of a handful of volunteers. While it may be heartwarming to give selflessly to that degree, it is not feasible for long-term sustainability of a nonprofit organization. Various business sponsors have pitched in to support the mission that services this homeless population and we need our sponsors.
- We need our individual volunteers and contributors. We are pressed with almost every writing to bequeath honor due to our contributors and volunteers. They give generously, serve tirelessly and offer graciously. It is their hard work and kindhearted sacrifice to the mission that makes this what it is. They are M25:35. While the pandemic prevents many from being on the stress with us physically, they show time and time again that they are with us. They are M25:35. We share more about our volunteers in our Start-Up Playbook, a handbook written to give insight to other nonprofits and businesses.
- The final help we have been given comes from the Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance. The MDHA is a backbone organization that leads the development of an effective homeless rehousing system. The original Federal strategic plan to end homelessness, established under the Act, Congress mandated that there be a homeless rehousing system (or Continuum of Care) in every community, each with a designated lead agency. The MDHA is the lead agency for the Continuum of Care, also known as The Homeless Collaborative in the Dallas and Collin County area.M25:35 is now a member of the Continuum of Care, knowing our collective efforts serve the greater good cooperatively.
Our chief aim is to give ourselves entirely to the service of the poor. The Continuum of Care consists of 80+ public, private, and nonprofit institutions, all committed to making the experience we refer to as homelessness in Dallas and Collin Counties rare, brief, and non-recurring.