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."

Saturday, February 28, 2004


One of the reasons yesterday was stressful, other than all the phone calls and lack of rest, is the fact my pup pup is sick. For the past few days, he just hasn't been himself. He hadn't eaten (other than the dinner crumbs that fall from the table) in 3 days. I finally started giving him rice with chicken broth so he could keep up his strength, but even that hasn't been finished. He constantly shivers as if he is cold and has a fever. But the scariest part is that he keeps falling down. He will be walking and just falls as if his legs don't have the strength to hold him. Yesterday afternoon/evening I could tell he was in pain and anytime anyone goes to pet him, he growls. Almost as if he is saying "Don't touch me, I hurt!" I know I need to take him to the vet Monday, but I am also scared. He is only 3 years young and I have had him since he was 6 weeks. He is my best friend and has kept me from being lonely at times (yes, even when you have people constantly over during the day, you can still get lonely.) Back when Geoff and I first moved here, and Geoff kept having to drive to SC for weeks at a time to work, BaBoo was the only one I had to spend time with and talk to. We would run and play or watch a movie or dance or just hang out together. He has been a blessing to me in hard times or when I felt low. I fear the vet will tell me he is very sick and need to go to sleep forever. (Yes, I know there is also the chance he will be fine, but somehow I feel his time is coming to an end.) Just to think of it makes me cry


Yesterday was day of excitement, frustration, stress and a lot of prayers! By 11:00 AM, there had already been 20+ phone calls. I felt myself draining. I needed a break. We also had several people show up for lunch and fellowship. "I'm tired, I'm stressed and I just want to lock myself in the bedroom and sleep" I thought. But, I knew I couldn't so I kept praying for strength to keep going, especially with a new friend who LOVES to talk, non-stop. I didn't think I could handle one more phone call and then it happen: the phone rang again (please let it be God cuz I need to talk to somebody.)

The voice on the other end was so sweet, yet scared. She was getting ready to be thrown out of her grandmother's house because there was no more room for her and her 4 year old. Her grandmother had a house full and couldn't handle a 4 year old on top of that. She was recently laid off from her job to make it worse and had very little money. "I pray, but I feel my prayers go unanswered. God doesn't love me. I am cursed. I don't drink or do drugs and try to live a good life and want to provide some type of stability for my daughter. But, I have nowhere to go." all this in between sobs. Not to say I couldn't handle this and be a friend with a shoulder to cry on, but I knew I wasn't the one God wanted her to talk with. But, I didn't know who to help counsel her. Her phone started to die so we arranged for me to call her back in an hour. I didn't want to leave her hanging and even though I knew I needed some rest, she needed help. I didn't know what to do. I was drained emotionally and physically. So I prayed. Then it came, the answer to my prayer!

Last summer we were able to help another lady out by getting her into an apartment. She was now seeking a roommate to share the apartment with and the cost was only $350 a month. For here, that is a cheap price. So I called her to see if she was still looking for somebody and what was her criteria. OK so far so good. I knew God was leading me with answers, but still this girl needed the right person to talk to for guidance. I called my Pastor, but ended up speaking with his wife. After I was finished speaking of this new friend in need, God was leading her to the person who could be a friend to this young confused girl. She would call and see if she would be willing to talk. Once again, God gave us a way passed another problem. Now for the final hurdle: MONEY! It would take $350 to get her into the apartment. So I started calling churches and explained the glory of a home for this lady and her young daughter. Within 45 minutes, $200 of it had been pledged.

So I called the young lady back and asked "so when do you want to move into your new home?" She started sobbing. We made the final plans to meet today so she could see the apartment and meet her roommate. So today we met and she is just as cute as her voice is sweet. She is only 26 and just feels a little lost. I told her about the lady who would like to speak with her for encouragement and to be a mentor/friend to her as she gets her life back together. She loved the apartment and we agreed to meet tomorrow at 7:00 to move beds, a dresser and TV in her room.

God is awesome!

Friday, February 27, 2004


Last night was United Way's annual meeting. Other than facts and figures, UW also announced the winner and nominees of their local Cruikshank Award. Yes, we were nominated, which is such a great honor, but A Gift From Ben was the winner this year.

Here's a little nit about them:

A Gift From Ben is a non-profit organization established to honor the life of Thumper Newman's son, Ben, who passed away in a car accident. Our mission is to decrease hunger in the Williamsburg area by delivering food seven days a week to those in our community who are unable to provide adequate food for themselves or their families. We are committed to treating each client with dignity and respect as we strive to improve their quality of life by reducing their financial stress related to obtaining food.

We pick up food from five grocery stores seven days a week, and from local restaurants twice a week. Most of the food is delivered the same day to the people's homes.

We feed approximately 800 people each week through deliveries.

Thursday, February 26, 2004


Sweet Plants of Life

The earth is moving so fast and unfair,
People always changing moods, ways, height and size.
It's like the world never wants you to be perfect;
It just jumbles you in a ball and sits you somewhere to grow.

I sometimes like to see myself as a plant;
I grow tall, my leaves fall off and that's my personality: it changes.
I get petals and those are my feelings and I sometimes get a sense that's my attitude.

Now, I can't say I always smell good,
Or that my leaves stay the same, but I am human.
And I'm here so I share my feelings with you now.

I am a flower and no matter how I smell, look or change, I will still be a sweet plant of life!

Monday, February 23, 2004


Tomorrow is our local area's Salvation Army Food Box day! Yeah, food food! With all the guests we feed, we always run short and have to send emails out to the local churches for assistance. Last month, Salvation Army called to let us know they are now doing a monthly food box for people in need, including our clients, the homeless. Since the majority of our clients work, all I need to do is take their ID's with me and I can pick up their box of food (which also includes frozen meat!) The others who don't work or have a flexible schedule just need to take their ID and show up and say they are one of our clients. Praise God! Once they are on the list, each month they can go in to get their food and will be on the list until the client decides they don't need the help any longer.

*The Budget Amendment for Rental Assistance (Senate Item #110-2; House Item #110-1) and The Budget Amendment for Homeless Assistance (Senate Item #110-1; House Item #110-2)*

These are two Amendments that are up for voting upon in Virgina's Senate. For more info, go to http://www.vchpub.org Please read the Amendments and write your local Senator and Delegate! But, moreso, remember to pray. Pray that we can get a shelter in Williamsburg, pray for the homeless, pray for what you have and pray for our Government.


*I met Patti, through a mutual friend, in 1993. At the time, she had just come out of an abusive marriage and was working as an exterminator, maintaining government housing, to help a friend's short staffed company for the summer. During her time at the company, on many occasions, she would take extra food and clothes to families that were struggling. Patti at the time suffered from asthma and had one of the home breathing treatment machines. At one of the lower standard housing apartments, she ran into an elderly man, who also suffered from asthma, but couldn't afford the medicine or machine. That weekend, while Patti and I were out for lunch, she stopped by the man's apartment and gave him her machine. As she told me "I can buy another one, he can't afford one in the first place."

As our friendship grew, I watch Patti exhibit many acts of kindness, helping people in need. Sometimes myself included. When I had first met Patti, I had very little skill training and few goals for life. I had a heavy alcohol and drug habit, yet Patti never turned me away when I needed a friend. Patti always tried to encourage me to better my life and to break away from my habits, but even when I had no food in my house, she would show up with bags of groceries.

At some point during our friendship, Patti moved into a condo on Main St. She was working in sales at a local computer company and had a coffee house at night, for bands trying to make a start. At the computer store where Patti was working, on a few occasions, she was known to help less fortunate families purchase computers for their children. One day when I stopped by to see her on her day off, she was making a large pot of soup. Shortly after, several men showed up at her door and we passed out bowls of food and drinks. While they sat on her front steps and ate, I asked Patti about her new guests. She explained they were the few men on the streets who couldn't get into the local shelters and soup kitchens for help because they didn't have an id. On occasions, Patti and another friend, Dawn would take a few men at a time to get id's, so they could get places to sleep at the shelters and jobs at our local job corps. Because they didn't have a residence, they used Patti's mailing address for the id and weekly would pick up their paychecks. Even though she was working 2 jobs, she always made sure the men had food and left pillows and blankets on her front steps for them to sleep.

She has dedicated much of her time, not just helping the homeless, but also her friends. When our friend, Dawn found out she had breast cancer and didn't have insurance, Patti helped to pay for her medications and food. Several years ago, when she found out a professional married couple she was friends with was in dire straits and about to lose their medical business, Patti quit her job and went to work in their dental office, at no pay. That summer, she covered the weekly paycheck of their hygienist for several weeks and paid for a trip out west for her bosses when she discovered her mother was very sick in the hospital. Two Christmas' ago, their car broke down and was beyond repair. Since Patti was planning on buying a new car, she took her old vehicle, with the title signed over to them with a card saying "Merry Christmas." When Patti received money from her deceased mother's estate, she bought several computers for families that were low-income, helped a few of her friends pay off debts, including myself, so they could get back on their feet and then did things for herself.

Two years ago, when she found out the Salvation Army in Greenville, was low on resources, she dropped off over 20 bags of women's clothing and went around to the local doctors for supplies to be donated to the women's shelter. When her maid, which she hired from the women's shelter, was ready to move into an affordable duplex and out of the shelter, Patti and Geoff met with the landlord to assist with the deposit, first month's rent and utilities. She supplied her with linen, furniture and food.

Never has she asked for anything in return. Nor has she demanded change from people, even if she didn't approve of somebody's behavior. She never pushed anyone in her beliefs and love for God, but would share with everyone how He has helped her. These are only a sample of the different actions I have witnessed from Patti. Her kindness and actions there is nothing different than how she was here in SC.

As of today, I have been clean from drugs and alcohol abuse. I have turned my life over to God. And I serve in the military overseas in the war against Iraq. All of this with Patti always unconditionally accepting me of how I was and how I am now.*

*My name is Ramona and I have been a friend of Patti's for over six years. It doesn't surprise me that she's helping the homeless in Williamsburg. I know she did a lot of that here and she's always been the first to try to help someone when they're down. Although I never went with her on one of her "runs", there was usually some evidence in the car-packages of styrofoam cups, bottled water, remnants of bulk- sized danishes or sandwiches, you could usually find something in the van. And, many times she has helped me out. Especially after I had my twin girls and my husband left me. She supplied most of my babies needs, whether it was formula, diapers, clothing, toys, baby's first Bible, money when I had none for rent or food for myself.

I am also an acquaintance of Cathey's, through Patti. Many times we would both tell her to stop giving her money away to help others (especially if we felt some were using her.) But, she would always come back with "If we all gave the extra we had to help others, one day we could wipe out poverty. Too many people need help and I was blessed with the extra money to do it and still survive on my own."

It always kind of amazed me how someone could get so much done while also trying to run a business, work a second job at no pay, deal with fibromyalgia, cervical dysplasia and has never complain. (Well, not a lot anyway.) She does have her moments when she is down due to illness. Yet, before she would ever take care of herself, she would always make sure others are cared for, replying "God will take care of me. It isn't who, how or why I could die, but it would be God's timing and nobody can stop that." Patti just deals with the situation and moves on like there's nothing to it! If anyone can get the homeless program together in Williamsburg, Patti can. Once she sets her mind on something, look out! It will be accomplished. She's just that way. I appreciate her presence in my life so much as many others in the past have as well; Williamsburg is blessed to have her.

I hope this helps to answer others' questions about her in Williamsburg.*

Sunday, February 22, 2004


OK, so this is my first post since we moved to our new home in Sept. about a homeless person in detail. First of all, he gave us permission and secondly, he is a Blessing to us!

Back in Dec., one of the local shelters called us to try and get help for a gentleman who call in. His situation is unusual and he was desperate for help ("ok so whose situation isn't unusual and desperate when they are homeless?", I thought.) This man, who is here on a Green-Card from Albania and has been here for 14 years working with his own company as an engineer, pays taxes and loves our Country, was driving down the road on his way to a job. Another man, who was somewhere behind him, had a heart-attack and died at the wheel. Well, you can guess what happen next! The man crushed Leo in his vehicle with basically his whole body of bones broken and a severe brain injury. With no memory of the wreck, his body almost fully casted, no longer with his apartment because he didn't pay the rent while in the hospital and no place to go, he was released onto the streets with a medical debt of over $300K! He had to get a new (used) vehicle, so it gave him somewhat of a place to sleep. But, the weather was getting colder, his body ached, no family nearby and a very broken English language he needed a place.

I told the shelter, "Yes, get him here!" Who is going to fight me on taking a man in this condition into my home in our extra bedroom? Ya right, I forget where I am. The shelter called him back on his cell phone, but couldn't reach him. The police were on stand-by to help with transportation to our home. But, now he was lost. (Turned out that night he went to another shelter and he was robbed of his wallet and cell phone because he couldn't defend himself.) I called around for needs such as a hospital bed, wheelchair, bathroom chair, just to be prepared if they did find him. But, nobody could find him.

Last week, a higher up government office of the Commonwealth of Virginia called me, "Mrs. McKenzie, I am calling from the Commonwealth of Virginia. We have a gentleman who needs help who is homeless and I was told to call you. He is here in Williamsburg at a motel. Do you have a room he can stay in at your home? He isn't qualified for any of our programs by the State and is too sick to be staying at the shelters where he has to leave at 8:00 am and check back in at 4:00 pm. So can you help us for him?" I knew it was Leo! I was thrilled he was no longer lost. But, I was also thrilled because of the avenue that he came to us this time: by God and the Commonwealth of Virginia! Wow, so even the Commonwealth recognizes us for our work and assistance with the homeless...hmmmm. But, because of his thick Greek accent, people were having a hard time understanding him. I had my husband contact him (Geoff, even though he was homeless, speaks several languages fluently, so we figured one way or another, he could communicate with him.) Technically, his English is great, but the accent is the main problem.

I made arrangements to meet him the next day so he could follow me to our home. Now I have to admit, I expected him to still be casted, but he wasn't. He just recently had them removed. But he is in soooo much pain! He has a lot of problem with memory from the brain injury. He is a nice man who now has become scared: scared of shelters, scared of people, scared to drive and scared for his future. He has decided, when this is all finished, he is going back to Albania, which is sad since he loves it so much here. I let him know we set our spare guest bedroom up for him, which he is grateful. It has been so enjoyable talking with him about politics, his engineering jobs, Europe and God. Last week we talked about how he had never been in a situation such as this and he can't get help and is irked since he was totally innocent. And now he will not be able to work for a long time, if not at all.

So does this sound like a homeless person? This is actually the typical person we are friends with or assist. This is also why I say "the faces of homelessness are changing." Yes we have had a few of alcoholic homeless, but they have not been the norm.

Saturday, February 21, 2004

My cell phone started ringing around 2:00 am and before I could reach over for it, they hung up. I hate when that happens cuz it is usually a person in need at that time of morning. Then the helpline started ringing. This time I was able to grab the phone. I jumped out of bed and took the call into the other room so I wouldn't wake up my husband. A young lady asked if I could pick her up and take her to a friend's house. She explained that her and her boyfriend had a fight that night and her parents wanted her out of their house. This has happened before and her parents were tired of the boyfriend's threat of beating her up. They gave her 5 minutes to find a ride for herself and all her possessions or they were calling the police! Which, in my opinion, the police should have been notified about the threats anyhow. Wow, that would take our pickup truck and I can barely drive it.

After talking with her a couple of more minutes, I recommended her to call Avalon, our shelter for battered women. No she hadn't thought about calling them, but she has a friend's she could go to so she didn't need a shelter, just a ride for her and her stuff. She said, "I am only 15 minutes away from you. I live in Smithfield, VA and need to go to Newport News." Wow, this made it harder because I, nor my husband, had ever been there, but I knew it was more than 15 minutes. I hoped on the computer and looked up how far and just from Williamsburg to Smithfield it would be at least 45 minute drive one-way and then at least another 30 minutes from Smithfield to Newport News, depending on where she was going.

Unfortunately, I had to decline since the distance was so far and not having a clue where I would be going to (not all of the Newport News area is safe. As a matter of fact NN is a dangerous area, especially at that time of night.) She somewhat understood, but then asked me if I could meet her and pay for her Taxi fare in NN. Again, I had to decline because that would defeat the reason of my safety and not going to NN at that time of night.

Yesterday morning I called mine and Geoff's hair stylist, Becky, to see if she could do a few haircuts. I explained that we had several homeless men and homeless parents' with children who were in desperate need of a new hairdo. The average cost for a haircut in Williamsburg can vary from $12 - $17+ and when you are homeless, that, (which may seem to be a small price for some in the community) would be food money for a day or half of a motel room for a night. And in all honesty, a haircut is not a top priority in their lives. But, for the past week, we have had many requests if we could arrange it for them. Some needed it for job interviews, the children needed it for school, and others because it had grown too long and out of control.

Because transportation and schedules can be hard to arrange, Becky offered to do it at our house after she was finished with work. Since I knew Becky and her children like spaghetti, I offered them to stay for dinner after the cuts were finished. Becky being not only a GREAT stylist, but also fast finished all the haircuts in an hour and a half time. And even though Becky would have done it out of her heart, Geoff and I paid her $50 out of our pocket. Then it was time for dinner. With everyone satisfied with full stomachs and new styles, we all cleaned up the kitchen and said good-night.

That was a real blessing! Many of us were in need, myself included, and she did an awesome job! Thank you, Becky! By the way, local readers, if you need an excellent beautician, go see Becky at The Hair Cuttery by K-Mart. You won't be disappointed.
Williamsburg's Daily Press

Woman files lawsuit; was denied housing
Apartment owner wouldn't allow children

By Patti Rosenberg
Daily Press

Published February 21, 2004

WILLIAMSBURG -- A James City County couple has violated the Virginia Fair Housing Law by refusing to rent an apartment to a woman because she had a child, according to the Attorney General's Office, which filed a lawsuit Thursday.

The lawsuit was brought on behalf of Lenora Jones-Elliott, a prospective tenant at Bazzle's Apartments in the 100 block of Country Club Drive, off Longhill Road.

Ernest Bazzle, the president of the company that owns the building, and his wife, Lillian, the company's secretary, are named as defendants.

"I feel my rights have been damaged," Mrs. Bazzle said about the lawsuit. She also emphasized that "I don't want anything in the paper" and declined further comment.

After seeing an ad for a vacant two-bedroom apartment on March 12, 2002, Jones-Elliott called and spoke to Mrs. Bazzle, who asked if anyone else would be living there, the lawsuit says.

Told that Jones-Elliott had a 5-year-old daughter, Mrs. Bazzle responded that she had a long-time resident who was a teacher, had to be up at 5 a.m. and wouldn't appreciate being "disturbed by a child running up and down the stairs," the lawsuit says.

According to the lawsuit, Jones-Elliott then asked a co-worker to call and see what happened when she pretended to be interested in an apartment. Mrs. Bazzle asked the second woman if she was single and "volunteered that she did not rent to people with children or pets."

Housing Opportunities Made Equal, a nonprofit housing advocacy organization, conducted a telephone test 10 days later, the lawsuit says. A caller "initially received a cordial response" from Mrs. Bazzle. But Mrs. Bazzle's "tone became less cordial, however, when the tester mentioned that her two grandchildren would be spending the summer with her."

Mrs. Bazzle explained that she'd "had a bad experience with a noisy little boy who ran up and down the stairs" and that she "did not want the responsibility of restraining her large dog who might pose a danger to the tester's grandchildren," the lawsuit says. The tester asked to see the apartment, but Mrs. Bazzle said it would not be available to her.

An investigation revealed that no one with children under 18 has lived in the apartments in more than five years, the lawsuit says.

The suit seeks $7,060 for Jones-Elliott, an amount that represents the difference in rent, utilities, transportation and childcare for where she lives now compared to what it would have cost her if she'd been able to rent an apartment from the Bazzles.

The lawsuit also asks for $50,000 in punitive damages and the award of attorneys' fees and costs.

Patti Rosenberg can be reached at 223-5686 or by e-mail at prosenberg@dailypress.com

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

HADYN: Finally I have been able to chat with Hadyn today. She left a couple of weeks ago for Brazil. It just doesn't seem the same here in Williamsburg without her. I don't have anyone I can call and say "Oh you won't believe what's up now." She is a great little sis and student! She now has a blogsite so she can let us know about her adventures in Brazil www.hadyninbrazil.blogspot.com
MIS-APPROPRIATION OF FUNDS: Last week I was talking to one of the weekly motelers and she said, "by the way, there is a strange rumor going around. Somebody said they heard you were under investigation for mis-use of donated funds." "What?!" I replied. "What funds. Since last year, I have only received $800.00 donated for the ministry! Almost everything we do is out of my pocket or food/clothing donated for people by the churches." So I immediately called a friend at United Way and she said "Yes, I heard that 2 weeks ago and laughed. Patti, we know you don't get any funding right now and it is mostly your money. So do you feel baptised right now? LOL" OK, it took a lot of time to look into this, but it turns out, 2 people I threw off our property and/or red flagged in town for abusing the system, wanted revenge so they called to say I mis-use money. Unfortunately, they forgot to check whose money it is. Many of the churches here can verify that I work almost 100% out of my trust fund or am a middle man for the churches and the homeless needing help.

CRUIKSHANK AWARD: Last week United Way sent me a letter that I had been nominated for a local award they sponsor each year. It is basically a way to recognize different individuals or organizations for work they do for the community. Although somebody else won, (which I already knew I wouldn't because you have to be in affect for 2 years and I haven't even worked alongside of the homeless for 1 yet,) you get a nice plaque. So that is way cool, but I am taking several of the homeless with us to the banquet since it is all about them and God; not me. I feel they should be recognized more so than us.

CITY COUNCIL: Currently we have a few seats available on our City Council. Four college students were planning on running, yet they were told they don't qualify. I have only read about a couple of other citizens who are planning on running so that still leaves other seats available. Although I am not much on politics, last week "I had a dream!" Why, I have no idea, but literally, I had a dream about running for a position. Heck, worse that could happen is that I am not voted for a seat. Maybe this is the next step to move forward for the homeless? With there being such an uproar here about affordable housing for the college students, low-income families and the homeless (well the last one is mostly me harping), this could be a doorway for a better quality of living and equality for housing. Who knows, other than Abby saying "YES!" I haven't received much feedback. Geoff would be supportive, yet nervous because of the time it would consume.

Thursday, February 12, 2004

Isn't life funny? OK so that is a bit of sarcasim. In the past few days, I have spoken with Pastors who have told me "Be upfront and honest about what happen to you." You see, in the beginning, I always said "If I was hurt by a homeless person, nobody would know because I didn't want to make the stigma worse" but the reality of it, is that it doesn't matter if it was a homeless person or not. The reality is it was a person who hurt another person. Trust me, you can go to any state or city records and see that there are just as many crimes commited by people who live in houses (if not more) than those who are homeless. And there are times when the crime is commited against a homeless person.

The other night, I receuved this comment/question on the website: Will you invite the homeless guy who trashed you and hubby to dinner? Michael Michalko ... OK Michael, in all honesty no, now Kermit Gray would not be allowed to come for dinner at our home. Whether it makes me seem like a hypocrite or not, doesn't matter. What it comes down to is the fact that he had already assaulted a friend of our that was here earlier that day, assaulted me, my husband and our roommate. If it was just my husband and I, maybe. But, considering we have other friends over for dinner, no I will not be the type to put somebody else in jepardy. I may have the love for the homeless and want to help, but I also respect others enough to not want to put them in harms way. I may be known for helping the homeless, but what people don't realize is that we also protect the homeless and the community. If we find out somebody is lying and abusing the system, we red flag them, so others who truly need help aren't left out. That is also why I get so irked for the fact that if we had the Eastern State Building that was offered and fought against by the County, we wouldn't have to worry about putting somebody in harms way.

Here in our area, it is uncommon for somebody who is homeless to hurt another. Yet, he is still out running around even after we filed 3 assault warrents for him, UW called the police on him when he was estranged and seeking help and it has been over a week and everyone knows where he is residing. Those who need and want help, usually don't go out and beat others up. But, unfortunately, the stigma is there, whether we let people in society know what is going on or not.

What does it all come down to? GOD! We didn't make ourselves, nor did we set our purpose in life. God created us and God designed us for His reasons. When we finally realize that, maybe then we can examine our purpose for Him and not ourselves. Even I am guilty of saying "I" too much and not "He" "Him" or "God". Do I forgive Kermit for hitting me? Yes. But I, nor you, are the one to judge. When we all realize this, maybe we can also see the true reasons behind homelessness. On a spritual level, remember God said "the poor and needy shall never cease from this land." "Why" is the question many of us ask and seek for answers to a never ending problem. My opinion "Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh. Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven." Basically, as long as we keep turning away from those who are as Christ (homeless) and look for material rewards, instead of spiritual ones, we will keep being in the presence of those (the poor and needy) like Christ, who look for the kindness of another. So remember, Jesus was homeless and to turn your back on a homeless person is turning your back on God's Son.

Sunday, February 08, 2004

OK, OK so stop the phone calls and emails....yes the rumor is true...I was betten up by a homeless man! Will I stop the work I do? No! You can't let one bad apple spoil the rest. Look what was done to Jesus and He didn't give up! So why should we as human? This guy
snapped and tried to hit my husband...although I wasn't trying to step in between, I was already between and out of the blue wham, he started swinging at my husband around me. Then he threw me into a brick wall and shoved my husband done. Thank God other homeless friends came to the rescue! But, they have warrants for him and will arrest him, if they can catch him. So this is why I haven't been on puter. It hurts my eyes.....

In our weekly devotions, we are in the middle of a series on "Getting R.E.A.L. with God". Each letter defines an aspect of Christian life:
R-ight with God
E-ducated in God's Word
A-sking in Prayer, and
L-iving a Christian Life.

God has been blessing the sharing of His Word. His Spirit has been moving with power in those whose hearts are receptive to the Word. But...
It concerns me that many "Christians" are so consumed with "the world" (the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life... I John 2:16) that we never get around to walking with God. Often we speak religiously but live worldly lives. Shame on us!
We are called to be transformed from being worldly into being like Christ (Rom. 12:1-2). When we make excuses for ourselves, or have no conscience whatsoever, we are being Devilians (little devils), not Christians (little Christs)! In II Peter 1:10 the Bible says to "make your calling and election sure." If you find yourself not "walking with God", you need to "get R.E.A.L." with God. Be sure you are a son of God. Then be sure you are acting like a son of God. If you aren't sure how to do this, ask God! James 1:5 says, "If you lack wisdom, ask God, who gives freely to all." Then pick up the phone and call us. We are here to minister and to help. We would be glad to help you spiritually even as we help so many physically. God bless you as you seek Him! Geoff

57 Cents

A sobbing little girl stood near a small church from which she had been turned away because it was "too crowded."

"I can't go to Sunday School," she sobbed to the pastor as he walked by.

Seeing her shabby, unkempt appearance, the pastor guessed the reason; and, taking her by the hand, took her inside, and found a place for her in the Sunday school class. The child was so happy that they found room for her, and she went to bed that night thinking of the children who have no place to worship Jesus.

Some two years later, this child lay dead in one of the poor tenement buildings. Her parents called for the kindhearted pastor who had befriended their daughter to handle the final arrangements.

As her poor little body was being moved, a worn and crumpled red purse was found which seemed to have been rummaged from some trash dump.

Inside was found 57 cents and a note, scribbled in childish handwriting, which read: "This is to help build the little church bigger so more children can go to Sunday School."

For two years she had saved for this offering of love.

When the pastor tearfully read that note, he knew instantly what he would do. Carrying this note and the cracked, red pocketbook to the pulpit, he told the story of her unselfish love and devotion.

He challenged his deacons to get busy and raise enough money for the larger building.

But the story does not end there ....

A newspaper learned of the story and published it. It was read by a wealthy Realtor who offered them a parcel of land worth many thousands.

When told that the church could not pay so much, he offered to sell it to the little church for 57 cents.

Church members made large donations. Checks came from far and wide. Within five years, the little girl's gift had increased to $250,000.00 -- a huge sum for that time (near the turn of the century). Her unselfish love had paid large dividends.

When you are in the city of Philadelphia, look up Temple Baptist Church, with a seating capacity of 3,300. And, be sure to visit Temple University, where thousands of students are educated.

Have a look, too, at the Good Samaritan Hospital and at a Sunday School building which houses hundreds of beautiful children, built so that no child in the area will ever need to be left outside during Sunday school time.

In one of the rooms of this building may be seen the picture of the sweet face of the little girl whose 57 cents, so sacrificially saved, made such remarkable history. Alongside of it is a portrait of her kind pastor, Dr. Russell H. Conwell, author of the book, "Acres of Diamonds" .

This is a true story, which goes to show WHAT GOD CAN DO WITH 57 CENTS.

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Homeless For 13 Years...Read his story
Ricky Ticky Top

Sunday, February 01, 2004


When I go out to speak at churches, public meetings or to just an individual, the one thing I make sure to say "If you would spend more than 5 minutes with somebody who is homeless, you might find you have a lot in common and make a new friend." Why do I say this? Because it is true! With all of my interaction with the homeless, I have not yet found any that I do not share a common bond or interest with, no matter what gender, race or age difference. This is also the reason why we promote and open our house up to the community for dinner. We want people to interact on a human level, not a status level.

For example: George, Geoff and I love to do crossword puzzles and word games. George is also a contractor as is my husband. The three of us love to sing (and we aren't that bad either.) Clark, Geoff and I have music interest in common as well. Clark used to be a sax player in a band that toured and opened for the Temptations. John, Jeff, Rick and Wayne are also in the contracting business; so once again there is a common interest. Basically, when it comes down to it, we all have similar interest and there is never a time we can?t discuss some subject. I remember back when we lived in SC and Geoff was working for himself in the upper elite sub-divisions and he would be late coming home "Oh the homeowner and I had a conversation about..." People were always so shocked that he had been homeless for almost 2 years living in his truck, yet he shared common interests in many things that even the upper crust of Greenville enjoyed to talk about. But ok that is my husband and my view on the homeless. But, what about the public?

Last night, a couple of W&M students, Gabe and Pete asked to come over for dinner and share time with our homeless dinner guests. I am always opened to people sharing a meal with us at our family dinners so of course I immediately said "Yes!" Well, like many times, I was running behind on serving time (yeah right at times it is on purpose to give more one-on-one opportunity) and occasionally I would look into our TV room to see how things were going. (I try to make myself scarce when guest come from the community, because it isn't about me; it is about the homeless and fellowshipping.) They were playing cards (one of the guys was teaching Gabe); chit chatting, laughing and sharing stories. At dinner time, once we were all seated, the conversation and friendship continued. Mostly about NYC because one of our friends and Pete were from there and the bond grew from that point.

You see, homelessness can strike anyone. You don't have to be poor or a drunk to be homeless. We have had friends from the upper crust of Williamsburg who ended up homeless, people with college or Master degrees who have ended up homeless, men who have been abused by their wives (and the courts don?t believe them) end up homeless, people coming out from the hospital and lost their rental home end up homeless, people from divorce, identity theft, etc end up homeless. And yes, in all honesty a few, but not many, who have had alcohol addiction end up homeless. In today's society, it is sad that we make friends by our status and not our common interests. If I chose to do that, I probably wouldn't be in Williamsburg, I would be hanging out at the country clubs, on the golf courses, complaining of the service of those who cooked my steak a second too long or too little or just being a plain spoiled adult brat. And yes, at one point in time during my teen-age years, I was. But then I learned the true meaning of a friend and now this is the life I choose to share with those I have a common bond with.

What about you? Do you choose by money or by shared interests? Do you live by words or by action? Do you live by self or by faith? Who do you want to be: somebody who talked the talk and walk the walk or somebody who talked the talked and only read about it?