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The Living Without Series

This is a series of posts that I wrote back in 2006 on living with less stuff. Check them out: liv011Living #2liv031liv04

Coal Creek Farm on Facebook

The Chicken Doctor

April

The Architect

Clay

A place to lay your head.

We live in a town rich with culture and diversity. We have lots of art and tons of music and then there is the organic food and every sport imaginable, except hockey. We have a lake and a river. We have every food you ever wanted to eat and several markets that cater to the ethnic tastes.

The people are diverse too. We have millionaires, famous poets, famous basketball players, musicians, artists, professors, farmers, ranchers and of course there is me and the architect.

This town is like a little metropolitan fondue pot. Which means it has some of the metropolitan problems as well. Drugs, gangs, crime and the heartbreaking one…homelessness.

Some of the homeless are vagrants, some are panhandlers, some are drunks, some are mentally ill and some are families.

Our town does a good job of helping the homeless. We have a kitchen where they can sit down and eat a warm meal and there is a shelter they can go to get some sleep. But, there wasn’t a place for families that had fallen on hard times to go with their children and feel safe.

That’s why a group of good people got together and formed The Family Promise Network.

This week my church is the host for the guests in Family Promise. Which means our church has converted classrooms into bedrooms. The people arrive after 5pm and are picked up early in the morning to be taken to the center or school or jobs. One of the secretaries told me she hasn’t noticed they are staying in the church at all.

Yesterday, I made muffins for the folks staying at the church. As I dropped the muffins off in the kitchen I looked around and saw that at the end of one of the tables was a highchair.

A baby is homeless.

I walked back into the hall and noticed a paper that had been taped over the regular classroom sign. The paper had the name of a woman and under her name were the names of her three children.

A single mom and her three children are homeless.

I didn’t get to meet any of the people that are staying there this week, so I don’t have a face in my head, just the thought of a baby and a single mom and her kids not having a home.

When I got home I had all kinds of questions. Questions that didn’t have answers.

What do they do if the children get sick?
What do they do on the weekends?
What if one of the adults get sick?
Where do they store their belongings?
Do they have any belongings?
How do they get were they need to go?
Why is this happening?
How can I fix this?

I don’t know the circumstances that brought these families to the point of being homeless. I can assume that it’s a combination of many things that would make me angry and break my heart.

I’m relieved that they have a safe place to go at night. I’m thankful that people are willing to give of their time to serve these people and help them right their situation.

Saturday I am hoping that Clay and I will be able to attend a training session that will allow us to spend time with the families next time they stay at our church. I would much rather have a face and name in my head than that empty high chair.

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