N.O. Homeless send "messages of hope and love" to city - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

N.O. Homeless send "messages of hope and love" to city

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A still from a promotional video for the New Orleans Mission's "Sincerely, Homeless" campaign A still from a promotional video for the New Orleans Mission's "Sincerely, Homeless" campaign

FOX 8 received this news release from the New Orleans Mission Thursday afternoon:

The homeless of New Orleans are spreading messages of hope and love by writing open letters to the city. These letters are an authentic look into what brought them to homelessness and the steps that they are now taking to get back on their feet.

The campaign, called "Sincerely, Homeless," is the first of 2013 to raise awareness for the New Orleans Mission, a gospel rescue mission in the city that operates entirely on private donations, and the nearly 6,700 homeless individuals in the city. By giving the homeless a metaphorical microphone to share their stories, we're working to dispel the shame often associated with people who have hit hard times and also give a voice to those deemed the "invisible" members of society whom many people look past when encountering.

New Orleans, which has a rate of homelessness that ranks second only to New York, struggles to reduce the number of one out of every 53 citizens becoming homeless. Despite recent efforts by the city to improve the situation, homelessness continues to be a difficult issue that the New Orleans Mission is approaching from a different angle.

"Everyone hits a rough patch at some point in life," said David Bottner, the executive director of the New Orleans Mission. "Our goal with this campaign is to change the public's negative perception of the homeless, help people understand it's okay if they are struggling to get back on their feet and to encourage them to seek the help we and so many others offer."

The New Orleans Mission is a privately funded entity that relies on the donations of generous people and local grants to help support their various operations, services and programs.

Read more, give and get involved at www.neworleansmission.org.

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