How do we cope with mental illnesses of the people we serve?

How do we cope with the mental illnesses of the people we serve on the streets of NYC & NJ?

A friend of mine just asked this question as she has a severely mentally ill woman she met.

I think that my reply deserves put out to more than just her.

I definitely feel like this thought becomes a roadblock in peoples minds around them feeling in adequate to do what I or we at New York City Relief do day in and day out.

Here is my reply:

I don't really think it's about you coping with her illness, it's about you loving her where she's at.

I, myself, guess I don't think about it when I'm interacting with people. I just try to love them how they need to be loved while I'm with them and when I'm not with them I pray that they will be healed.

There have been many people in the past few years that definitely have severe "mental illnesses", but in the same way that we don't focus on the homelessness of the people we serve, I don't think it's fair to focus on the mental illness either.

I think if we just focus on loving the person at face value that are standing in front of us, not focused on any of their flaws, God uses that to help us truly see them at their core and not see their sickness or flaws.

As hard as it is to live in the now, it's what God focuses on over and over. "don't worry about tomorrow", "daily bread", etc.

Your job is not to fix her as a person six years from now.

Your job is to love her today.



Feel free to share this if you think it can be helpful to others.


Much love all! ❤️



These are the most powerful words I have ever received in my 3 years of serving people on the streets of NYC: 

Hello Brett. It was an honor to meet you last night and a joy to spend time talking with you.

You 'saved me', not in the way that Jesus does, but by spending time with me and caring.

I felt the love of Jesus through you.

Your time and kindness has begun me on the road to healing and believing again.

The time with you, fed my soul, and your hug and saying I love you, saved my heart.

So I now understand what it means, that man shall not live on bread alone. God's word is love and I guess we all find it in our own ways. You 'saved me', that night Brett, I will never forget and I am forever grateful.


- Chris


This was two weeks ago.


After recently getting divorced and moving to the city, Chris started working as a male escort to keep from sleeping on the sidewalks. Over the past two weeks I've been talking with him and praying for him. The way he uses his words to convey what he is feeling is so clear and really a representation of what so many people are feeling but can't express.

After I got done praying for him tonight he got a call from a friend in South Carolina that offered him a room and a job. He said he was planning on escorting the rest of the week to get the money together.

I gave him another option and he took it, with full thanks to God!!


Short story: I need to raise $300 before tomorrow to keep Chris from going back to escorting and get to South Carolina.

PayPal: (not tax deductible)



Thank you friends, please share! ❤️