My buddy Ronald

The weather is heating up in Phoenix, Arizona. Yesterday brought almost 90 degree temperatures. You might think that many people would tend to move on when the heat kicks in; this is not always the case. During the hot weather we find more people outside our office door by default. More people seek the cool air conditioning of the Lodestar Day Resource Center; and more people inside means more opportunities for engagement. Sometimes this is the catalyst needed to push someone to seek assistance and utilize the services meant to move them beyond homelessness. Below is a story about my friend Ronald. Sometimes our assistance brings instantaneous results and sometimes the desired outcome is months down the road but each step forward, no matter how tiny, is movement in the right direction.


This week has brought some changes in a gentleman I know. Ronald and I have forged a fragile friendship. He is in his 60's and suffers from some severe mental deficiencies. He comes to the door nearly every day and 'borrows' a Bible. He will sit in the dayroom for a few hours and read 'his' Bible and then bring it back. He'll hand it back with a kiss on my hand and a hearty thank you. For many months I didn't know Ronald's name. When he first came to the door he barely spoke to me... just pointed to the little stack of Bible's on my desk and I'd hand him the same one every day. Finally one day he asked if he could come in and talk to me. I invited him to have a seat and formally introduced myself. He didn't tell me his name right away; rather he started telling me he needed a Lodestar ID so he could purchase bus tickets in the Café. I recognized this as a way to get information out of him and get him in our database. This is how I learned Ronald's name and the fact that he is 62 and lives on the streets.

But now Ronald comes almost every day and sits at my desk and talks to me for a little. Yesterday I found out that he has a mental health evaluation coming up that will hopefully secure him a bed in a facility that will take care of him and help bring him back to the man he once was. Slowly, maybe Ronald can be brought back from the edge of the shadows. He deserves to thrive in the sun. I think at 62 he's entitled. I'd also like to think that maybe being treated like a human being made him see that he deserves more than a bush by the railroad tracks to lay his head. Please be kind to people. Please.

This week search your heart, donate if you can, be kind to others, share your blessings and say a prayer for those still struggling. Share this newsletter with others, help spread the word, and help change the world. God Bless.

Tracy L Geivett, Chaplain's Assistant