Good day all and welcome to the world of Poverty and homelessness. Come right in and make yourself comfortable. You may never be able to walk by a less fortunate person again, without compassion, after experiencing with me the joy of helping others.
I am here to talk to you about my friend Mike. He was at one time a homeless person, down and out, working every day for a Placement Agency and receiving only 60% of his wages with 40% going to the Agency.
Mike was homeless for many years and slept outside in the summer and at Siloam Mission in the winter when he had a chance to get in.
Mike came to our food-line every day to say Hello. He worked every day so he had no need for out food because he got paid on a daily basis. Mike appreciated that we came out to server the homeless so much, that he made a point of coming to say hello every time we were out there.
Mike had a problem with crack addiction and struggled on a daily basis. He fell off the wagon several times but did not give up trying to quit. When he was on crack he would fervently ask me to pray with him for help from God, as he did not think he could do this on his own. This was going on for three years, until finally Mike had enough of this struggle. He asked me if I would help him out.
His employer liked his so much that he offered him the opportunity to get hired full time. He was a hard and conscientious worker. However, in order for Mike to do this, he had to have food, transportation and a place to say for three weeks as that is how long he would be without any pay.
I brought Mike home with me to meet my Husband and discuss out terms with him, should my Husband agree to have hime live with us.
After talking for about an hour, explaining to him that this was a drug-free home and he may come live with us but his addiction may not, my Husband said: We will give you a hand up, and not a hand out, so you are welcome to stay until you are on your feet again.
Mike worked hard every day, not just at work, but at home as well. He became a family member in every sense of the word. He cleaned up, helped with the Mission work, helped my husband with the yard work etc.
After a year of being clean and having saved money to establish himself, he got in touch with a former friend whom he had known since childhood. They hit it off and decided to build a life together.
Mike moved to Edmonton to live with his lovely lady Josie. They came to visit us once since he is gone. He has a very good paying job and they are saving up for a house.
I believe that given a change, everyone can shine.
People in need who have nothing to lose will give up on trying to better themselves. I feel that everyone deserves the basics in life, one of those basics is respect and understanding. Another one is knowing where your next meal will come from, or where you will be able to sleep.
I bet that you will never be able to walk or drive past a homeless person again without wondering what possibilities lie ahead for hime or her, if only given a chance.