Only ONE thing is the same for every single homeless person…they have a STORY. Whatever preconceived notions you have about what homelessness looks like…I want you to leave that at the door, step into this space and open your heart and mind. Starting with something as simple as hearing a story about how someone ended up in such an incredibly tough life situation can inspire compassion and connection and the desire to help in so many different ways. Just by being willing to listen, you are already making a difference in these people’s lives. You will never see homeless people the same, and that’s what we want. I once read that we sometimes don’t even see homeless people anymore as they’ve “become a part of the landscape” – and that broke my heart because it’s painfully true.
What does homeless look like? Your coworker, your neighbor, the person who checked you out in the store, your family member, a fellow student. It could be you under a different set of circumstances. Some people have escaped various kinds of abuse, been born into poverty, been fired, work around the clock and simply don’t make enough to afford housing, are experiencing addiction and mental illness… but how can we know the reason behind their homelessness if we don’t ask?
We want to give a voice to the voiceless. We want them to tell us more about who they are. We want to help a fellow human who has not had the leisure of the safety net (savings, family to help, friends to help, etc) so many of us have. We don’t know much about them until we talk to them, so that’s what we’re doing because the only thing we know about them before hearing one word is that their story matters.
And why do I care? Why does this mean so much to me? I was driving my girls to an open house for ballet one day and this mission came to me. I will never forget how clear as day it was. When you meet our first guest…you’ll see where this connection came from. Stay tuned!
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