Perhaps the most beautiful thing about Friday night was all of the different people who joined us. Not only did we get to spend time with homeless men and women but some little ones joined us, too.
A friend and her husband brought their two young daughters to help pass out the suppers. Each of them, delighted, grabbed sacks of spaghetti -- and salad and bread and a cookie -- and walked fearlessly and joyfully up to the men and women that passed us by. Read More
On Friday, September 4, we will head to South Dallas with spaghetti suppers donated by Gold's Gym trainer Edward Henson.
Every year, the Highland Park Belles hold a spaghetti supper, and both last year and this year, Edward Henson has led the way in donating meals for the homeless. Read More
I thought bed rest would make me bored.
I thought I'd want to pull my hair out.
I thought my home would turn into a revolving door of new faces to entertain me.
I was wrong.
Instead, I have come to love the silence. Read More
Today, I told the streets goodbye. Or, farewell. See you later.
I got to sit with my friend named Greene on the corner. He entertained me with his vibrant mind, informing me that, in fifteen or twenty years, people would be traveling to Mars to live. “It’ll be a suicide mission,” he said with his chuckle and lisp.
When I walked up, I just plopped down in the middle of them. It is no longer “by invitation only” that I sit, but I am part of them and they, me. I am a part of the community. Granted, I am not homeless. I do not live on the streets, but, as my friend Rowdy told me several months ago, “You are one of us.” Read More
Slender, wide-grinned, big-hearted Gregory Crawford stands a little above the crowd. When he finished up trade school and moved to Dallas in the '80s, he entered a world that, unbeknownst to him, would soon swallow him up and threaten his very life.
In those days, South Dallas was known as “The War Zone,” an area of the city completely above law and order. An article from 1988 puts the invasion of crack/cocaine in South Dallas this way: “It's easy to conclude that this is not merely a poor neighborhood invaded by drugs. It is occupied territory, a neighborhood claimed by crack. Drugs aren't a subculture here. They are the culture.” Read More
I am about to have a baby (official seven-week countdown). That means some number of weeks or months away from the streets of South Dallas while I try to figure out this thing they call motherhood. I’ve been going there weekly for nearly two years, and I am terrified of being away for any number of weeks … Read More
One of the ways people described Saturday's Street-Side Salon was that it was FUN. Now I don't know about you, but I have rarely thought of volunteering at a non-profit event as fun. Rewarding? Yes. Part of my duty? Definitely. But fun? Not so much.
Normally, I would drag myself out of bed on my "volunteer" day, slap on some clothes, and barely make it through the committed hours. I would always feel good I spent time volunteering after the fact (and especially good when I got high school or college credit), but I can't say I ever really looked forward to it. Read More
We just got the best phone call. Last November, one of our homeless friends attended Street-Side Salon where he had his hair cut and received new clothes. Street-Side Salon was a momentous day for him because it gave him the courage to start looking for jobs, since he had a clean cut and nice-looking clothes to wear.
Within that very month (November 2014), he started attending NA/AA and completely stopped using crack while still living on the streets. Read More
Homelessness and its struggles are really just a metaphor for all of life. Stripped of the clothes and the cars and the houses, a person is left vulnerable and transparent.
But inside mansions or outside under overpasses, people are people. Addictions plague the wealthy and the poor. The capacity for violence and self-destruction exists equally in every human heart. Read More
Back in January, many people came together to donate furniture and/or funds to help Eva fill her apartment. (If you'll remember, she went from sleeping on a cot at the shelter to sleeping on the floor of her apartment because she had no furniture.)
Thanks to everyone who donated furniture, kitchen items, etc., and to those of you who donated funds. Read More
When a person who got off of the streets and into a home shows up again on the streets.
You hear her voice around the way. She is asking about you. "Is Elisabeth coming to Bible study today?"
Heart sinks. She should not be here. This was not the plan. Read More
It was a hot day — so blistering we did something we've only ever done this once: move our Thursday afternoon time under the shaded foyer of CitySquare's building in our hood. Normally, we brave the elements, heat or cold, with our friends who are homeless.
It is not for this reason, however, that I remember this day. It stands out because two homeless men said the exact same thing to me in a short two-hour span. What they said is the sort of thing you know people think but that you never expect to actually hear. Read More
Back by popular demand!
In November, we held our first Street Side Salon. Since then, we have had many requests to do it again! Back in November, four stylists, including one man who is himself homeless, cut over 40 people's hair. Read More
In talking to my friend Greg yesterday, I was reminded of how long it took for us to see just one person get clean, move forward in their life.
He asked me, “Since you started this, how many people you seen get out?”
I said, “Maybe five.” Read More
The plight I was told of yesterday is the difficulty of getting back up when you’re this low, of the judgment that comes through the eyes of others when you’re not put together.
Two women. Each with different stories. Reasons she has fallen so far. Read More
Let's get real: I find the idea of washing someone else's feet quite awkward. I occasionally broke into a cold sweat earlier this week just thinking about today.
And on top of it all, because of the cloudy, misty day, we weren't sure if anyone would actually show up to get their feet washed. But Jonathan faithfully set up the chairs, and we got the stations ready ... Read More
As some of you know, we have a Bible study that meets every Thursday morning. When the weather's nice, it's outside in the neighborhood. It's one of our favorite times of the week, and it's often a time when people who aren't homeless also join us from other parts of Dallas. Read More
Two weeks ago, Elissa and I were at a recovery center checking someone into rehab when I saw a friend from the streets out of the corner of my eye. I hadn’t seen her in months. I had to do a double take — she looked different. She wasn't just physically cleaned up; her entire demeanor had changed. Read More
Sitting in a rehab waiting room today.
Stark, white walls.
Fluorescent lights beam brightly down.
Pain hovers like a storm cloud over the room. Read More
In a world that judges us by our productivity and accomplishments, homeless people don’t fit in.
People who sit in the dirt and drink beer day after day simply have no place in our American life. They seem to contribute nothing to our society; they only take. Read More