What's It All For?

I have endlessly struggled with words. When I started working on the streets of South Dallas almost three years ago, words came easily. Everything was new to me. I had never been around poverty in our country before, and in retrospect I realize it was much easier to relay all of these brand new experiences.

Over the past several months, it feels like so much has changed. In truth, very little has changed, but my perception has. 

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Meet The Need: Eva

Eva and her husband Allen have been in my life for an eternity. On the streets that translates to about eight months.

There are a lot of things I love about Eva, but probably right at the top is that she is a loving grandmother AND she's tatted up -- two things I previously thought to be mutually exclusive. 

The truth is, Eva is a dear and true friend. She has been a fixture in our Bible Study and also in our little neighborhood.  Eva's "clean" -- meaning she doesn't drink or do drugs. My child knows her; together, Eva and I have watched my baby change into a little girl.

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Street-Side Salon

On Saturday, November 8, we are holding our next community gathering in South Dallas. After trash pick-up, we asked the homeless community what other needs they have. Their immediate response was, "We need haircuts!"

Of course! It was something we would have never thought about, but it makes so much sense. It is such a basic human need, and one that I take for granted.

So in partnership with some local hairstylists, we are hosting our first "Street-Side Salon" on November 8.

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UPDATED: Meet the Need #6: Jerry

Recently, I have encountered a different kind of language barrier. Jerry, pictured above, has never had the ability to hear. Maybe to the trained ear, his speech and language would pose no barrier. However, his chronic homelessness and inability to gain access to a shelter are proof that a hearing impairment can complicate life on the streets.

For a person without a disability, getting out of homelessness is difficult. For a homeless person with a disability, everything  -- from getting an I.D., to finding work, to purchasing a bus pass -- is exacerbated. Adding something in like deafness or paralyzation (which we encounter every single week) complicates overcoming homelessness tenfold.

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Give to Growth: Announcing New Team Member!

Oftentimes people ask me if what I write about here is my full-time work. When I started going to South Dallas in July 2013, I planned on continuing to work other jobs and do this part-time on the side. After several months of doing both, I decided to make this work my full-time job. No non-profit that I found had the type of job I wanted to do, so I decided to fundraise so that I could continue and expand my work. In December 2013, I began this process of fundraising.

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