It’s 9PM on a Sunday. Where are you? What did you do today? Today I went out to Long Beach to talk to the people with the nonprofit LA on Cloud 9.
Did you know that services are not available to people on the weekends? WHAT?! When did helping people take a break on the weekends?
This time I had my son and his best friend join me. We saw some interesting things, and I’ll get to that soon.
But for now I have something for you to ponder as you read this blog (please bear with me).
This day started off like every other day: I walked the dog, fed him, and then took care of myself. My question to you: What’s your routine?
What would you do if that routine was broken? I guess I’d just find a new routine, latching on to something that kept me feeling safe. What do you think goes through the minds of those living in homelessness? I have yet to talk to someone about their life on the streets because I don’t really think it’s my business how someone got there, and it’s the road ahead that matters. But I do think it’s important that people understand that NOT everyone living on the streets choose to be there nor do they want to continue to be there.
There’s especially one image that continues to stay in my mind: a young man, strung out on something, emaciated, soiled, swollen feet (like gangrene), and shaking…I wanted to do something. I wanted so badly to tell him that he is loved and to tell him that someone misses him because I know if someone I knew was in that state, I’d want to help them and I’d want someone else to help my friend. I didn’t call an ambulance, nor did I get to tell him he is loved. Claudia Perez, the CEO of the nonprofit, told me it wasn’t the right thing to do because people in the park would get mad. So, what is the right thing? I just keep thinking, even at this very moment, how is he right this second? Did anyone have the courage to call for help despite what others were telling them? I’m not usually one to follow, but this time I listened to others and I HOPE the man is still alive. One volunteer, Dana Beisel, had the nerve to say horrible things about this person. Got Compassion? I don’t think so! Why was she even there? Was she there for her own gratification or to truly show grace to others? This I don’t know, but next time…next time someone says something awful about any of these people, I WILL say something. I will stand for those who are afraid to speak. We are there to help these people, not belittle them for Lord’s sake. I thought we were there to show compassion and patience.
I know I can’t save everyone, as my mother always tells me, but it’s just when you see someone in that state and you have this urge to help them and you can’t, you feel hopeless. So, was he one lost person…holding one lost dream…one lost…no wait! I will continue to fight for those who are hurting, for those who just need a little courage to lift themselves up.
Sometimes I wonder, who cares about these people? Why doesn’t anyone help them? The answer is: We do! Our supporters do! We’re helping them. It may not be everything they need right this moment, but we WILL achieve greatness for them. We must. We WILL build housing for them. Failure is not an option, especially for me. If I fall, I’m not failing. What I learn is that what I tried didn’t work the way I wanted, so try something different. There IS an answer, and I will work hard to find it. But only with the help of others.
What I ask of you this week: please take a look at our Amazon wish lists. Is there anything on that list you’d like to give? You don’t need to buy it from Amazon, for it is a bit pricier. This past week we received four boxes of items (freakin’ AWESOME), but we only have half left for next week. I will be making a trip to the Dollar Tree or 99Cent store this Friday, so if you or someone you know can donate $10 that would be fantastic. Hygiene kits were the number one item today.
Thanks for reading!