My Day With the Homeless
By Mark Hay
I was invited by 3 homeless advocates to spend part of the day with them and see how the homeless live in Springfield, and where. It was an eye opening day.
Our 1st stop was at Inner City Outreach, where David Sims and his volunteers provide a warm meal, groceries and a message of hope. I’ve known David for several years now. Enough to know that he shuns any praise for his efforts and gives the glory to God for what is accomplished there. Great place.
Next stop was hosted by Dennis and his wife Becky at a homeless encampment we hiked to in the woods. Not a place anyone should go without an escort know by those in the camp. You wouldn’t want just anyone to walk in to your home either. Most of what is in the camp in the way of supplies come from this couple. Tents huddled together, covered by big pieces of canvas make up the common lining areas. Tables made of whatever they can find. A ingenious shower stall, a cool cooking area made of stone and such, a handicapped portable toilet complete with a 5 gallon bucket. Families complete with little kids can be found here. Groups that have banded together to form a family, and just individuals. Dennis and Becky brought water and ice that men from the camp packed back to the woods. Bigger containers are needed to haul water. 2.5 -5 gallon containers with lids would be great.
Next stop was hosted by Heidi. She took us down around the Square where many of the younger set of homeless live and hang out. Do you know that some live in tunnels underground, in abandoned buildings and out in the elements. We passed out cool drinks, snacks, socks and toothbrushes. Have you ever been hugged by someone you gave a pair of socks to? I have now! One guy asked for 3 toothbrushes claiming he had friends that needed some. I watched him when he left, after 1 block, he handed them off to others. Take what you need and give the rest to someone else!
Cool time of learning from my hosts today. Thanks! Mark
Note from George: Would you or your group be in a position to assist Sammy’s Window? Sammy’s Window is a not-for-profit organization, whose special purpose is to help foster children enter the foster system with some sense of dignity, and assist foster parents with the transition. Mark, the founder and director, is also a member of Friends of the Garden and a FOG volunteer.
Sammy’s Window does have a group Facebook page, click here> http://www.facebook.com/friendsofthegarden#!/groups/53740542338/
For more information on how you can help, contact:
Mark Hay, Director Sammy’s Window
Tel: 417.849.7941 Email: email@example.com
Location: 3757 N. Glenstone (call before dropping by) Springfield, MO 65803