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."

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?


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