10 January 2014 ~ 2 Comments

Reflecting On my Time With D

This afternoon I got to meet and help out a new friend.
For the purposes of this blog post, we’ll just refer to her as D.

D is in her late 40’s and homeless.
She’s a part of project 180/180, which is how I got to meet her.
(I’ll post more about 180/180 in the future.)

If you saw D on the street, many of us might be tempted to ascribe a whole list of assumptions to her that we have about those in the homeless community.
I spent an hour helping her fill out an application for an apartment.
I don’t know a ton about her, but here’s a few things I learned in the hour I spent with her.

She has carpal tunnel, which is why I wrote most of her application out for her.
She has been in and out of homelessness for a while, it sounds like.
She is widowed and has 2 sons – 1 teenager and 1 who was murdered.
She was in a house for nearly 4 years.
2 years ago she lived there, and ran her own business.
The owner of the house was foreclosed on and she was kicked out.
She’s lost her income stream and everything she had shortly after.
She has been searching for a place to live.
Her income is less than many people reading this probably pay for a car payment.
She has a section 8 voucher that has had to be extended several times because she hasn’t been able to find a home that will accept her.  She’s come close.  Anyone who has looked for housing in Santa Cruz knows it’s not an easy task.
She disappeared for a while because she gave up.  She lost hope.

As we filled out the app, she mentioned how many times she’s done this.
She said she’s tired.
She thanked me and the others there for helping her as best we could.
She looked at us from behind a face that shows her almost 50 years of hard life and then some, and said she’s tired of being homeless.  She wants to start her business again but has nothing to get it started.
I kinda choked up as she walked out  of there, as another housing navigator encouraged her not to lose hope.

Today was just another good reminder that there is so much complexity to the issues of those who are homeless and under-resourced.
Everyone we pass on the street has a story.  A story that matters to God.
And lots of them would love to be out of the situation, and are even doing what they can to do so, but are starting at a disadvantage, be it situational, medical, whatever.
Thanks for the time we spent together today D.  It was good for my soul.
I can’t wait to celebrate when you get a home and take another step toward forward.

Here’s a great article I saw posted by some people on Facebook that has some great insights on poverty in America.

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