Written by Hayley Ruffner
We've known and walked alongside our friend Peggy now for over 2 years. If you've spent any time volunteering with us on the streets, you have most likely met Peggy. There is a child-like sweetness and vulnerability to Peggy that quickly endears many to her.
I recall a recent Saturday morning as we were walking with Peggy down the street how many other homeless individuals stopped what they were doing to say hi to Peggy or hug her. I remember looking at her and whispering "It's like you're the mayor out here! Everyone wants to say hi."
There is also a deepness to Peggy as you spend time with her. She asks how you're doing, asks about your family, talks about her faith, will open up about her fears, and loves to be prayed over. She is keenly aware of her situation and where her life used to be before homelessness—physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. She longs for restoration, the first step being leaving the shelter behind.
Last week we got to celebrate that first step with her! Austin Street Center's case management team worked with Peggy on a housing solution, and two of our team members got to pick Peggy up last week, load her bags of belongings in the car, drive her to the new apartment, and help her settle in.
Our experience has shown us that housing alone does not solve homelessness. Four walls and a space to call our own don't magically heal our minds, bodies, and souls. We believe in a deeper solution: community. Community is where true healing, restoration, and flourishing abound.
So, as Peggy settles into her new place, we are committed to surrounding her with friendship, love, and support. We are inviting you, our broader community, to join us as we walk with Peggy through this new and exciting chapter in her life.
Thank you for being a part of the community that allows not only our friends on the street, but us as well, live a more flourishing life.