Meet the Need: Rowdy's Memorial

It took him a year to talk to me. Sometimes, he'd grunt in acknowledgment of my presence, but even that was once in a blue moon. His best friend, Mr. B., was one of the first in the neighborhood to embrace me. They sat together every day, on paint pails or old folding chairs in front of an abandoned white building. To get to their spot, I had to jump across a large ditch; Mr. B always said he wished we could trade legs so he could do that, too. 

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Meet the Need: A Christmas Keyboard

Written by Rachel Nash

One week after Thanksgiving, we had a potluck dinner at Bobby's new apartment. Bobby is a friend who used to live on the streets and about 6 months ago got placed in an apartment in Oak Cliff. It was my first time to visit Bobby since he has been there, and for that matter, it was my first time visiting a homeless friend who was no longer homeless! Needless to say, I had NO idea what to expect. 

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Three months ago, Roland, a former resident of Tent City, left the streets and moved into his own apartment.

Since then, he has been working different jobs through a day labor office to make ends meet. In his free time, he gives back to his community by creating an outdoor play area made entirely of giant sunflowers.

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Meet the Need: Randy

We met Randy about a month ago. Randy sits with our friend Rowdy. Rowdy doesn’t give out friendship too easily, so we are certain Randy is a good guy.

Not only that, but Randy has a spirit about him that is kind and gentle. We have been drawn to him since we first met him. As we talked to him last week, he shared part of his story with us, and we want to share it with you (with his permission!) ...

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Meet the Need: Edward

Edward lived and worked in a residential care home. He spent his days taking care of the elderly and people with disabilities. It's a physically demanding job-- we're talking getting full-grown humans in and out of the shower and helping them take care of business. As you can imagine, these duties (no pun intended) require a kind, patient, and caring person. 

A person like Edward. 

About a year ago, Edward got sick and was unable to keep up with the physical demands of his job. So he lost it. And because his job was also his home, he lost that, too. That's how Edward found himself homeless.

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A Merry Meet the Need

She's a mama. A mama who was badly beaten by her soon-to-be ex husband. A mama who was brave enough to leave, brave enough to risk, to get help.

Now, she lives at a shelter with her babies. She is their only caretaker; no babysitters are allowed to the shelter to help her. For her safety and the safety of her children, no one can know where they are living. (We cannot even share her real name or the number of children she 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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