Williamsburg's Homeless & Indigent

P.O. Box 366, Lightfoot, VA 23090
Office: 757-561-3255
"Assisting people in re-gaining hope and a better way of life."

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

When my husband and I moved from SC to Williamsburg in October of this past year, we didn't know what to expect. The only things we knew for sure: we made our move to be near his 3 children; I had the opportunity to 'get back to my roots' (I was born in Richmond, but my Father was transferred shortly after); our first year anniversary was just around the corner; and the cost of living in Williamsburg was so outrageous, you almost had to file Bankruptcy before you could unload your U-Haul! Just to catch you up to speed on our lives, and us I'll give a quick 'cliff notes' version of why we moved here, why I am 'blogging' and who we are.

Our move was unexpected for us, but my husband's ex-wife announced to us at the end of August that she had been dating a guy in Williamsburg and they were getting married...that next week! She was packing up her house and their 3 kids and moving. This would be our last weekend with them or at least until their next trip down 'to visit'. Wow, what a blow, not just for Geoff (my husband) but also for me. I had grown close to them during the summer and now they would be gone. A couple of days later, Geoff's oldest son, Geoffrey (GT to keep it less confusing) called us and said "Please do something! We (GT and the youngest, Ben) don't want to move and be that far from you or our friends!" We called a couple of Attorneys, but found it to be too expensive and besides I was a child of divorce and I knew the hardships of being a grenade in the war of divorce. Geoff and his ex tried to work it out, but nothing was agreeable. So finally I said "Then we all move." This seemed like an agreeable plan to all of us and so we all started packing. We helped them move that week and came to Williamsburg to find us a house. One month later we moved. (Probably at this point you are wondering if we are crazy, but that is fine because it is about the same attitude we have received from several people in this area.)

Why I am blogging about 'Homeless in Williamsburg'? Shortly after we moved and became settled in our home, I decided I wanted to start working with the Homeless again. In SC I worked several years on my own for the betterment of the Homeless. Personally, next to children, there is no better group of people to work with. I knew I would have the support of my husband in my decision, because he was homeless when we met. Geoff and I asked a few people we had met "where are the Homeless Shelters located in Williamsburg" or "where are the Homeless?" We were amazed to everyone's answers! "Williamsburg doesn't have any Homeless" or "Oh, no; you don't want to get around 'them'. They will hurt you. Most of them have been patients at Eastern Hospital and don't take their meds!" Other than being in a state of shock, I was broken-hearted. Not because I couldn't find anyone to rescue (which is not why I enjoy working with the Homeless) but because of people's attitudes and blindness to a situation that grows daily. And what really made my heart sank was the fact that many of these people are Christian (OK so I say this term very loosely), upstanding members of their Churches and always willing to drop some change in Salvation Army's bucket during the holidays. Geoff and I decided to drive around and look, but not knowing the area very well, (if you have ever visited Williamsburg, you understand how easy it is to get lost in a town that has no more than 10 main roads) we ended back at home as failures.

Months past, we tried to 'fit in' but even still I know that in itself will be like driving on Interstate 64 (does it go East and West or North and South and who mapped the directions off the internet?) Two weekends ago, Geoff had the boys out for the afternoon and I decided to sit and read the newspaper. I figured since I was suppose to start working the following week, I would try to get in as much relaxation time as I could. But wait, there on the front page of the Virginia Gazette was the headline “Homeless Defy Easy Solutions”. I didn’t know whom to call first, Geoff or the writer of the paper. Of course I called Geoff and exclaimed “I know where they are! I hope you don’t mind me not taking that job. I have a lot to do and need to try and call the paper.” I immediately called the paper....ugh, voice-mail. So I tried several hours later and again the voice-mail. Monday rolled around and I reached the front desk service, but nobody knew of Paul Aron. Finally, they put me through to the Editor...ugh, voice-mail again. Gee, when does anyone work? Finally I decided to try the white pages on the Internet. I truly didn’t have much hope in this since I figured most writers wouldn’t publicize their phone or address, but to my amazement, there it was. My heart was pounding as I dialed, wondering what would I say....ugh, voice-mail. I realized the only way I would hear back from anyone would be to leave a message. Mid-day Paul called me. I told him my story and feelings and after an hour of discussion, I said “could you please take me down, cuz I don’t know where these areas are?” We agreed to meet on Tuesday (3/04/03) to post flyers throughout the areas the Homeless were living.


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