Cracker and I have had a very, very blessed month.
Let me start by saying all is well with my pregnancy and our little drifter who has found home within my body. After 3 consecutive miscarriages since April of last year, we have held our breaths with this one. We got to hear our little drifter's beautiful heartbeat for the first time on July 24th. I've had some issues since then with severe, persistent morning sickness (known medically as Hyperemesis Gravidarum) but we've found the right combination of medications after losing 15 lbs and a few days in the hospital. We have our NT scan on Monday which gives us a guess as to whether our baby is at risk for Down's Syndrome and other Trisomy disorders. All in all, everything is going great with the baby, and we are out of the danger zone for miscarriage.
Camping hasn't been bad at all. In fact, it has been quite comfortable. We've been taking it day by day, and looking for jobs all over town. Last week, Cracker landed a job as a bouncer at one of the top bars in the city. It's a part-time gig, but it's a start. We got lucky one day in the last week and found $30 on the floor in a local McDonald's which fed us for a few days. With Catholic Action Center being closed for a few weeks, it's become difficult to eat in the evenings, but we've been scraping by. Yesterday, I overheard a young man at the library telling the librarian that he is doing a documentary on homelessness. Once he was finished speaking with her, I jumped up and mentioned that I couldn't help but overhear his conversation and if he wanted to talk to a homeless couple, Cracker and I would be happy to share our story.
Over the course of two hours we told our story and answered countless questions that this man had for us. We learned that he is a pastor from a church in Versailles, and his project is going to be a 15-20 minute documentary on homelessness (Adam, if you wanna add something about that, shoot me an E-mail and I'll add it to this post!) We got him hooked up with a street card and got him going in the right direction for dinner. I told him, if he wanted to, he could meet me at McDonald's and I'd get him to the Community Inn for the night to sleep.
8pm rolls around and Adam and I hook up at McDonald's (Cracker was at work.) I answered more questions and we had a good talk about all aspects of homelessness, and I even got to introduce him to a few people who have some interesting stories. After about an hour or more I walked him up to the Inn. In return for our assistance, he gave us a Visa gift card with a few bucks on it. That was God again, making sure we got some grub. I thanked him, wished him luck, made sure he got in and headed back to McDonald's. The rest of the night was rather uneventful, and today was fairly uneventful until this evening.
We're walking back to camp, and a cop spots us going down the side of the overpass. He stops us, and immediately a feeling of dread settles in the pit of my stomach. My anxiety instantly goes through the roof, and it's so bad at this moment that our little drifter goes nuts moving around. I thought for sure we were going to jail. Technically, we're trespassing where we're camping at. After a 20 minute discussion and an I.D. check, the officer comes back and says legally he can't let us stay there. However, his moral compass kept him from running us off leaving us with no where to go. Long story short, this officer got us a motel room for two weeks. I've got tears in my eyes as I write this, because this man doesn't know us from Adam and he has spent $320 out of his own pocket to put us somewhere safe.
His reasoning behind this selfless act of supreme kindness? God.
Cracker has another job interview tomorrow for another security position. If he gets the job, we'll be able to move into an apartment at long last in two weeks, and we can start a new chapter of our lives. If (when) this happens, I can tell you that this blog will not die. Our experiences in the last five months have humbled us, and it has opened a new path for me. I can finally say that I have found my calling.
I have always had a passion for writing, but in order to do it for a living I need to be writing about something I am passionate about. I hope to take this blog and put it on paper in the form of a weekly or monthly publication. My ideas are still in the early stages, but I can't let it go. I cannot turn my back on a community that has shared our struggles over the last five months. I may not like every homeless person in Lexington, but there are so many men and women who have found a spot in my heart and these same men and women deserve to have a voice, an advocate who truly knows what their needs are.
I really hope that we get to share our story at Adam's church to the youth group, because I feel like...if our story can change just one life, and open just one mind then that's one more life that will not fall not victim to the streets and that's one mind that can think forward to the progression the homeless community deserves.
Most people have this preconceived notion that people are homeless because of their addictions and sheer laziness. I'll be honest, that's a significant percentage of the homeless population. You are right to think that. But it's not fair to pass that judgment on the entire homeless community. There are people losing their jobs and homes every day. There are people trying to scramble up out of this hole they've fallen into. Some are hindered by addiction, some are barred by a criminal past. There are so many people in the homeless community that are just stuck between a rock and a hard place. Background checks, security deposits, requests for first and last month's rent, and unreasonably high rental rates make it damn near impossible for some of us to get on our feet.
The average poor worker makes $9,100 a YEAR.
You do the math, and tell me how the hell these people make it.
The welfare system is bursting at the seams because of the criminally low minimum wage rate and unfairly high prices of rentals. I have seen efficiency apartments go for as much as $550 a month. That's ridiculous, especially when someone's trying to support a family.
God willing, this is a period of transition for us and a sign of better times to come.
I'm going to wrap this post up with this one question...
What can YOU do to help bring awareness to this epidemic?
I challenge you to do something, anything to help the homeless in your area.
If you're brave enough, go out there for a day. Eat at the soup kitchens, sleep in a shelter, get just a taste on your spiritual tongue of what this life is like. I can promise that in some way...it will change you.
Until next time, my friends.