Wednesday, August 6, 2008


" You are Sweet and Lovable and you deserve to be told that every day" ~Bob

I stopped by the shelter today to drop off some papers and I saw Bob.
He told me " Now you remember where ever you go and what ever you do, I am right here behind you cheering you on. And I'll always think you're sweet and lovable and that you deserve to be told that every day".
It's funny to me that Bob says things like this because he has dementia. Yesterday he was telling me how he thinks its okay to hit women if their pregnant and but every day he tells me I am sweet and lovable!
Sometimes they call Bob Robert.
Bob spends most of the day alone playing solitaire. I think I'd go crazy if I was alone all day playing solitaire.
I wish there were Christians out there who would adopt these crazy people and feed them and love them. Bob is old and he walks really slow. All he has is a kitty.
I waved goodbye to Bob and he saluted me. Haha.
I drove away from the Salvation Army for the last time this summer!
At Christmas I shall return, hopefully to find that people have moved on with their lives and found homes and jobs and people to love them.


The Last Day

Today was my last day!
It was very sad! I shall miss every one very much.
My internship definitely was interesting and things went very unexpectedly.
I don't feel like I progressed much on the professional level as far as keeping up with responsibilities and learning a lot about social work. I learn a lot about the people and what makes them tick.
I think it was good for me to be on the other side. I got to be friends with the people I one day hope to help. I don't think I will ever be able to look across a desk and be deceived or prejudice towards the people I work with.
Being with these people who run free in society, people who almost have their own society, I will never group them or classify them. I hope they will always remain people to me with real needs and real stories.
If anything I learned that God is at work in their lives and in their situations and it is my job to live with these people and walk along side them and point him out.
The word says we will always have the poor among us, so I know there will always be homeless people and there will always be people who work the system.
But now more than ever I see how important it is for people to be treated with respect and kindness no matter what condition they may be in, because all people have worth and value because they are created in the image of God.
I know that I spent my time with people who will remember me.
I hope when I come back a few years from now I run into them again, but I hope they are helping in the cafe and I hope they have jobs. I hope they overcome their addictions and know Jesus for who he really is.

The End is Near

Well the end is near!
I am almost finished with ten weeks at the cafe. Well... more than that.
In full days I have been there for ten weeks, but in weeks I have been there for three months!
I keep telling every one I'll be leaving soon and they don't really care for it.
Today I found out another one of the guys who has been doing really well, isn't actually doing very well. That only leaves one guy left.
That is pretty discouraging. We already lost one.
I just saw Larent the other day and visited him while he was working! He just recently got a job on the weekends advertising for a grocery store that is going out of business. I guess he used the money to buy alcohol which quite frankly... SUCKS. He didn't even come to the cafe yesterday because he was " in no condition to come in ".
I hope in this case, the people at the cafe can continue to love him and help restore him back to good health. There is so much shame involved in the homeless life style and I hope no one brings any more shame to Larent.
On the other hand another lady Debbie is doing really amazing.
I think my parents are going to take her to church on Sunday!
It will be strange not going to the cafe any more.
I will miss it!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Beginning of the Month

At the beginning of the month the cafe is empty because every one gets their check.
So no one was there today.
Dennis informed us that he has 11 days of freedom and then he is going to jail.
That's kind of frustrating.
I don't like it when my friends go to jail.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Life on the Outside

So, I have been reading this book called Jesus for President.
You might want to add it to your list. It's good. Challenging. Maybe even dangerous.
All summer I have been wondering how I can wake up each Monday, drink my expensive fair trade coffee, drive in my shiny car away from my comfortable home in a good neighbourhood and then proceed to sit across from HOMELESS people and try to convey to them that Jesus loves them.
Well, if I am trying to be the body of Christ to these people what the heck am I doing living in a three bedroom two bath with a pool house on the other side of town? Why don't I sell all my possessions and join the poor and live with them every day? How can I have so much and they have so little?
These questions plague me every day. Especially on days like today when I see three guys I know from the cafe while I am coming back from a gourmet meal with my family.
One was selling papers, another was advertising for a grocery store going out of business and the other was sitting on a bench with a can of beer.
These people are all around me all the time. The only difference between my life before the cafe and my life now is that I know the people. I know names and faces and stories. There were always there before, I just didn't have eyes to see them.
Now, I know I can not sell all my possessions and move into a drama and drug infested world, single white female on her own to live among the poor... not the brightest idea I ever had.
But what should I do?
Jesus didn't live in a house or have things. He didn't even have a place to rest his head.
So if I am called to take up my cross and follow Jesus ... where exactly do I go?
People are always using vague phrases like " just follow the Lord's leading" and " pray about it, go where you feel called". Well I am pretty sure that Jesus, the Lord, lead his disciples down pretty intense road ending in persecution and martyrdom. And the entire book of James screams out to every believe to take care of the poor and the orphan and the widowed.
I'm pretty sure that's where I am called. I'm pretty sure that's where every person who follows Jesus is called.
So, the question of the summer time, college student internship: Do I separate career from ministry? Do I keep the worlds separate? Or do I let them collide? The first is easier. The latter could be dangerous.
Who do I follow, what the world tells me : have your career, keep your boundaries and have your house is the Suburbs. Or do I follow Jesus who poured his life out to other people...
Because can I really talk about poverty over a $ 30 meal ?
The more I think about it, the less possible separating the two worlds becomes.
Because if I am really loving people and respecting each face I see every day I will always know the names on the shirtless men on benches drinking a Bud. I will know why that lady stands on the corner every day and begs with her cardboard sign.
If I live how I'm supposed to those people will always have names and faces, and the worlds will always collide.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Turn Over

I have been working at the cafe for almost ten weeks. About three months time.
In this amount of time I have seen two of our ladies have four boyfriends each.
The love triangles that form when you live with the same people for 24/7!
The past few days Rodger has been missing. Roger is one of the guys who was on the street but wanted to get his life straight again.
He got into the shelter and started volunteering at the cafe. He went to conferences with us and was working hard to get his life back together. About two weeks ago Rodger got really quiet and quit talking. This morning David, one of our other volunteers, found Rodgers ID card and volunteer pass laying on his bed. All of Rodgers stuff was gone. He hit the high trails.
We hope he comes back. Its sad to loose him. We all spent a lot of time talking to him and encouraging him to do the right thing.
Lesson numero uno: Some times when you help people and do all you can for them they leave and go back to their old life.
Lesson numero dos: It's okay

Monday, July 28, 2008


Today we gained a new volunteer.
Her name is Debbie. She has been hanging around for about a month now.
She is really sweet. Larent, our new cup washer, water fetcher , is good friends with Debbie.
Every morning when she comes in he sneaks over and hands her three Sweet n' Low because hs can't have sugar. Its pretty romantic.
I told Debbie I would be leaving soon and she needed to take my place. I told her sometimes people just need some one to talk to and that she had a lot of offer the people. Even if it was just hugs. I think she will stick around for a little while. She lives in the shelter that is right next door to the cafe. I am excited to see what happens with her.
We are loosing a lot of people to tent city. Tent city is a homless village with showers, tents that lock, and washers and dryers. You have to have a voucher to get in. Once you get in you are given a bus pass and a free place to stay. Its a pretty sweet deal. The police don't even interfere with the drug trafficking that goes on there.
It is not a place I want any of the people in our cafe going too.
I've really grown to love the people there and it will be sad not to see them every day.
I think I will wonder what becomes of all of them.