On March 8, 2016, Ed Heiman (an ordained minister and a Rotarian), spoke to the Magnolia Rotary Club members about his efforts to help the homeless in Houston and in our local areas. Pictured in the photo is Ed Heiman.
Ed Heiman started off his discussion by telling everyone that he and his family have lived in Magnolia for over 20 years and that the "Building The Way For The Homeless" organization was started 16 years ago by a group of volunteers from the First Baptist Church of Magnolia and is a 501 (C) (3) organization. Their original goal was to build a "transitional home" for the homeless that would help move members of the homeless from the street to productive lives again. However, just the cost of such a building would be $250,000 or more and that does not include the costs to run it and keep it running. As a result, that is still the goal. Since the task is so large, Ed is trying to pull together a coalition of a number of organizations willing to help the homeless.
Ed told everyone the idea came to him years ago when he picked up a homeless veteran in Conroe and came to understand that there are many stories of successful people who have fallen on bad times and are now homeless. He also told everyone that he has a lady who works for him who was homeless at the time he hired her even though he did not know it at the time. Her husband had passed away and she was living in a tent in the woods prior to getting employed. 
Ed then told everyone that his group ministers to about 150 homeless people every Sunday on the streets of Houston in what he calls the Montrose Street Church. In addition to talking to them about the Bible and the good news therein, his group also feeds them and provides them with clothing when possible. At other times during the week, his group visits the bus stations, jails, and anywhere else the homeless gather.
Ed told everyone that the general public does not understand the homeless but that many of them are really like many of us except that have had some unlucky event in their life. As an example, Ed told everyone that recently he was told by a paramedic friend of his that a 45 year old homeless man who died of a drug overdose was found to be an ex navy pilot who had lost his wife and two children in an auto accident several years before and had just never recovered from it. 
Ed told everyone that one of the hardest homeless groups to help are ex-cons who can't get or hold a real job. He is hoping one day for a job training course to help these people find meaningful work. One of the other groups is the mentally ill who almost always prefer to live on the streets. In addition, Ed told everyone that most people who have been on the streets for over a year tend to want to stay there. That is why he always hopes to find someone who is new to the experience and wants to get off the street.
Ed then told everyone that most of the homeless people he works with are in downtown Houston but that with the general population growth, he believes that the problem is moving out to outlying towns like Tomball, Magnolia, and Conroe. It was mentioned that in response to the homeless in our area going from church to church on a regular basis, the Society of Samaritans (SOS) was created and churches now send the homeless and needy individuals to SOS.
In response to a question about how many people Ed's group gets off the streets, Ed told everyone that they are lucky to get one person a month to try and get off the homeless roles. As a result, Ed's group tries to make the lives of the homeless a little easier while trying to find that one person who really wants to be off the homeless roles. Ed then told everyone about a "Prayer & Healing Campaign For America" being held on June 16th from 6:00 PM until 9:00 PM at the 4 Corners Conference Center located at 130 Agg Rd., Tomball, Texas 77375. It will also be held on June 17th & 18th from 10 AM until 9:00 PM at the same location.
For more information about the "Building The Way For The Homeless" organization,  contact Ed Heiman at 832-338-7338 or email him at buildingthewayinc@yahoo.com or go to their website at www.buildingthewaytx.com.