Edward the Volunteer

Each Thursday of every week, a group of volunteers meets up at Mokah Coffee shop to get ready to go the streets. We come from all different walks of life with different stories of how we ended up here, but this one thing we all have in common: a desire to go befriend and love the chronically homeless right where they are.. One of these volunteers that has shown up faithfully every Thursday for the past 4 months is Edward Thomas. 

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Kate & Eddie's #humanimpact

Back around 2010 when my kids were little, we went to a McDonalds near our home in Austin. As we were walking across the parking lot, an older, frail homeless man using a shopping cart as a walker passed at a snail's pace in front of us. We exchanged hello's. After he passed us, I turned back and said, "Do you want to come inside and have a hamburger with my family?" That question became one of the most important things I have ever done in my life.

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#humanimpact: Austin style

My then-fiance Margaret and I first met Robert last summer when I moved to downtown Austin. 

He sat on a bench in front of our apartment complex, smiling and waving to everyone who walked by. You would not have known he was homeless if not for his clothes and his bags. His friendly demeanor and smile drew us into easy conversation. 

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Farewell, Friends!

After what has felt like an incredibly short 9 months on The Human Impact team, I am sad to announce that I am already moving on to the next adventure. My significant other and I are moving to Omaha, where he got his dream job as a Great Ape Keeper at the Henry Doorly Zoo. We’ll also be a short two hours away from my family, which will be so welcome when our baby boy arrives in July! I wanted to share some reflections on my time here and how this work has impacted me. Here are just a few lessons I learned.

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Our Friend Rhonda

Our friend Rhonda is an alcoholic. She will tell you this herself a short time after meeting her. She has had a painful childhood, and the scars and wounds inflicted by others who should have protected her run deep. She copes with the pain through alcohol, and has for years.

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Principles of Our Work

The Human Impact exists to befriend the homeless and bridge the relational gap to change lives. Our work is about people, and when you work with people, each situation can be different; each journey an individual one. Things can be complicated, complex, messy, and confusing at times as we carry out our mission of befriending and bridging.

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Why Street Art?

Art — why make art on the streets with homeless people? Don’t people who are homeless have much bigger needs, like shelter, food, and clothes? Why make art? Last month I had the privilege to present in Miami at the American Art Therapy Association about this very question…

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