“If you can’t feed a hundred people, then just feed one.”

This quote from Mother Teresa hangs in my office as a daily reminder.  When we serve the homeless we are not serving an abstract concept or only trying to reduce some statistic (number of homeless in our community), but we are touching people’s lives on a very personal level one at a time.  This personal connection is vital.  This personal connection is what Aurora is all about, “Giving light to the homeless.”

Yet the mission of Aurora does not stop with serving the one:

“If you can’t feed a hundred people, ask yourself and others, why not?”

As Program Director for Aurora, I also work with program and community evaluation.  Are we serving the community in the most effective and efficient ways possible?  Are we using our limited resources the best we can?  While we see the tree in full detail before us, we also need to be wise in looking at the forest.  How can we truly end homelessness in our community?  How do we reduce the crisis of homelessness for many individuals and families by shortening the amount of time that they will experience in shelter and find security and stability in their own residence?  These are important questions for our community. Aurora plays a critical role in the challenge of asking and addressing these questions.

The challenge is to not forget to address community issues as we serve a person or family experiencing homelessness one at a time.  While many needs we serve on an individual level are both critical and urgent (i.e. where will my family sleep tonight?), community issues often take long-term planning.   It is too easy to lose track of the forest when we see the needs of the tree right in front of us.  The critical and urgent nature of the needs before us may seem too great to lose time talking about possible long-term community issues.  Yet both are needed.

Our greatest challenge is to ask and address these important questions, while always recognizing the dignity and need of the person right in front of us.

“If you can’t feed a hundred people, then just feed one.”


Ken Scheller has served as Aurora’s Program Director since April, 2011.  Prior to his employment at Aurora, Ken served as a therapist working with families dealing with issues of abuse and neglect.  Ken has been a Peace Corps volunteer in South America and has had prior intensive experience working with the homeless in New York City.  Ken has two children. Ken received his BA in Philosophy and BS in Psychology from the University of Evansville.  He received his MSW from the University of Southern Indiana.  Ken is recognized by the State of Indiana as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.