Two Phenomenal Women
At the annual Chaplaincy Fund-raising Dinner we had two speakers who blew the audience away. Both of these phenomenal women have my greatest respect because of where they came from, their journey, and how they ended up standing at the Chaplaincy podium on Dinner night blowing the stereotypical picture of homelessness out the window! Both of these women are my co-workers, one directly in my office and the other in a neighboring agency. Both of these women were homeless.
|As you know the Chaplaincy is in the business of changing lives! Among
making certain our clients have the identifying documents necessary to
live life as WE know it, we have dedicated ourselves to putting a face
to the homeless. To telling their stories. Because quite frankly the
homeless are no different than you or I. Every soul on the street has a
mother, father, sister, brother, child or friend who thinks of them,
wonders where they are or what became of them.|
I wrote Deborah's story for my blog. It is too long for telling here but I invite you to visit my blog and learn more about her inspiring story: http://newsfromthestreets.blogspot.com/. Deborah's story involves addiction and prison and finding her way back with the help of God and sheer determination. From the streets, to prison, to the Chaplaincy for identification, to the shelter, to her own place and a job driving truck and back to the Chaplaincy as a vital part of our team when she was laid off during the skyrocketing gas prices a few years ago. Deborah's story will give you goose bumps as if God himself is poking you saying, "Pay attention here folks." I love this woman's spirit.
Shannon is you and I. Shannon had the American dream. A man that she loved, darling children, nice house, nice car, wonderful career. And then life turned on her. Lupus forced her to leave her career and her relationship spiraled into violence as the stress of one income became too much. When it became apparent that she was going to lose her home, she made the soul searching decision to call her ex-husband and ask if he would, for the time being, step up and relinquish his weekend Dad status for that of full-time caregiver. Her story is filled with mind-boggling strength, with hope, with a newfound passion that matches my own. A passion for making people look her in the eye while seeing her poise and beauty and to listen when she tells them, "I could take anyone of you to the Shelter and YOU WOULD BLEND IN. The homeless are no different than you are. We are people. We have a story. And we don't want to be invisible. Please see us."
Man I love this job. I love that I can call phenomenal women such as Shannon and Deborah my friends. I am humbled and so very grateful to know them and share their stories.
Have a wonderfully blessed week!