I love God, advocating for the homeless, and changing people's minds!

I have had people say to me recently that some people chose to be homeless. I’d like to talk about that common stereotype for just a second. I do not know one person who woke up one day and made the conscious choice to sleep on the street. I do know people who struggle daily with addiction and that makes other decisions very difficult for them. I do know people who suffer from mental illness ranging from just severe enough to make life difficult to severe enough to create an alternative world in someone’s mind. I do know people who are homeless just because one bad decision started an avalanche of bad situations.

I also know I have never had to make any of those decisions or struggle through extreme hardship without a support system of people who love me.

I got a phone call today from a woman at an area hospital and she asked me if we have 'next of kin' information for homeless people. I said sometimes. If they have been in our office we have a file on them and we might have names and numbers. She gave me a name and I froze and asked if by requesting 'next of kin' was she saying that this gentleman had passed away? It was a name I knew well and while a death resulting from his addiction would not necessarily surprise me, it would sadden me greatly.

Fortunately, he is not dead but he is hospitalized and she is trying to reconnect him with family. She found my name and card in his pocket and he told her to call me. We have known Larry for many years. He can be a cantankerous old guy. But he always knew where he’d find people who would give him unconditional love in addition to a healthy dose of scolding. I am so glad Larry is not dead.

Although this is not the first time he’s been hospitalized, it is the first time he told someone to call me. Maybe he’s ready for a change. It's never too late to start living to live rather than living to die.

I’d much rather see Larry again at my door than receive a phone call saying he was found dead on the street. That is just not cool.  

Pray for Larry this week please.
Pace e bene!