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."

Tuesday, September 27, 2005


Obviously I am changing the look of the blog. Please bare with me as I update the new look.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


Finally today our DSL was installed. Now it is time to work on my office and get mycomputer fully set up!

Monday, September 19, 2005

Being A "Righty" Is Not Very Good

Three weeks ago, I had an accident at work and ripped my nail and root out of my middle finger on my right hand. Although it is almost healed to where I can get a fake on put on, it slowed me down for awhile and worked, but more importantly at home unpacking. Most of the work has been on Geoff to get laundry done, dishes unpacked and things put in it's place. We still have more boxes to go and was starting to see a lot of difference, until today. This morning, after my main route was complete, I went to go and do my W&M bulk drops. Just like any day, I pulled up on the cobblestone walkway at the Campus Center, opened my trunk to get the 60 papers out, walked up the walkway and saw the same sunken bricks that I see each day and thought, "They need to get that fixed before somebody gets hurt." I put the papers in the stand and took a stack of papers that were left and made my way back to my car for the next drop, when all of a sudden, "WHAM!" It took me a secod to realize what happened. As I came off the last step, with a stack of papers, I had been the one to step in the hole that the sunken bricks have created! I was on my tush, papers everywhere and couldn't get up as I watched my ankle swell! Yes, it was my right foot!Prayerfully, I had my cell phone with me (because nobody was around at the time) and I called Geoff, "What are you doing right now?" I asked. He went on to tell me how he was doing his vacation packs and so forth. "Wait! I had a reason for calling! I need you to come pick me up off the ground!" I went ahead and explained to him what happened as he was telling our boss and on his way to the rescue. I then called my boss to let her know I would be late and said when she answered, "You might as well fire me cuz I am accident prone!" After laughing she asked how I was doing, but I wanted to reassure her I could do my route. Geoff pulled up and after getting pictures and dropping my other bulk papers off, we went to the hospital. Well, it turned out it is VERY VERY sprained with a hairline crack, but not enough to cast it. I am in an air ankle splint, ankle and foot wrapped and an orthopedic boot on....crutches too for at least 2 weeks or until the orthopedic doctor says I can get off of them. Friday I have to go to an orthopedic doctor.
But, now this slows us more down on unpacking, which in return slows us down in getting back to the ministry. But, we keep on keeping on, so we can get back to God's work!

Sunday, September 11, 2005

We have finally moved into our new home.We don't have everything unpacked, but try to work a few hours each day. I think we are down to 30 boxes out of 100 to be opened, cleaned and put in it's place. We still have some furniture that needs to be moved in from the garage. I was so shocked and mortified when I saw the condition of some of my family's antiques. The storage units left an undesirable odor that must be cleaned out of the wood. But, the worse of it all was how poorly so many took care of our belongings when we lived at Lightfoot. I guess since it wasn't theirs, it didn't matter to them. My desk, although it wasn't an antique but was mine when I lived with my parents in Florida, is so scratched up. The majority of my furniture and antiques, I paid thousands of dollars for, including having a lot of it restained or taken back to it's original condition when I bought it from our family auction and now I must have it all repaired and most of it restained. I am just thankful it is something my husband can do, so it won't cost the money. Not all the furniture will fit in our new home so we will store it in our garage to save money. The antiques I have made sure that went inside.

Our clothing we are sorting through to see what we want to keep. Since I have started delivering the newspaper, I have lost 20 lbs. That I am thrilled about. One of the few times I don't mind losing something. I have several bags of clothes I will be donating to the people who will be arriving shortly from New Orleans. I am striving to get back down to a size 6 that I was when Geoff and I first met, but that seems doubtful. I would be satisfied just getting back down to 135-140 lbs. (Yes a female who doesn't have a problem with gray hair, telling her age or weight.)

Unpacking a lot of these items has been making me miss my sisters a lot. We are all that is left from our nuclear family. And then with the ministry, I didn't have much time for them, let alone my husband or myself. I have seen my oldest sister in Indiana more since I have moved to VA than my sister in FL. One day maybe I will get a vacation, but for now, it is unpacking and work. Even this morn, Jenna asked me if I had a trip planned and I thought, "How could I do a trip? There is too much to do and not enough time and then my job." She told me about a 10 day cruise but I said, "I can do 4 but no way 10." I think the worst part would be staying away so long from my dogs. Most people have kids, I have dogs (a behavior I inherited from my mother and also because I can't have children.) Which, btw, the dogs love it here in their new home. They have a lot of yard to play on, they love the boat I bought and are slowly realizing there are other dogs in the neighborhood to make friends with.

Speaking of boats, yes, I bought one. The man who was living in this house had several for sale. It is a 19 ft. Rinken (in the neighborhood they call it the stinkin rinkin.) It isn't in the best of shapes as the man hadn't done any of the repirs to it and he stripped it of the seats and rails. He was going to fix it, but didn't have time. Actually, I still don't own it yet as I gave hime a post-dated check for the 19th. In the meantime, we are working on it (both cosmetically and physically.) It needs carpeting (just had new florring put into it), seats, rails, lights and the carborator fixed. It definately needs a paint job (another great money saver job my husband can do.) I want to strip the ugly black and red stripes off it and paint it white with lavender stripes. We have named it "Tippy Towed" (Tippy is my nickname from my husband cuz I walk on my tip-toes.) But, I can't complain since we only paid $1000.00 for it and the trailer!

Well, my computer time is up and I need to get to work on unpacking. Will blog more later.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Idealism 101
5 September 2005

by Hadyn Rickett, DSJ Staff Reporter

I’m tired and lost. And starting to understand why not-for-profit organizations have such a high turn-over rate for employees. It’s not for lack of caring or because the cause is not an important one. But the most important problems require an exhausting amount of dedication and an inextinguishable spirit that few retain once the cynicism creeps in. Although academics at the College make us question many of the values we once held strongly, I argue that idealism should not simply be cast aside as immature.

As an enthusiastic Sharpe scholar my freshman year, I allied with a local woman who brought sandwiches and clean water to homeless people living under the Bypass bridge. We felt called to a little-known cause in the city and energized to jump in and help.

Over the next few years we did our research, campaigned, fundraised, and looked at buildings and legislation to find the best way to put the homeless back into homes. But not only that: we wanted to break the cycle of homelessness for good, so we also focused on helping people to become financially secure, get help for a substance addiction if they needed it, find transportation, and provide a secure place to raise children. We created an NGO, Williamsburg’s Homeless and Indigent (WHI), and looked through Williamsburg for areas with the correct zoning for a shelter. We wrote articles for local newspapers and spoke to T.V. reporters. Patti, the local woman, was kicked out of two houses and nearly became homeless herself. For a while, WHI was operating out of a hotel on Richmond Road that offered us a number of rooms for low-income, long-term occupancy so the homeless could get back on their feet.

And now for the dreaded question: have I made a difference? We appear to be right back where we started. The hotel is gone, and we are back to making sandwiches and bringing water under the Bypass bridge and into the woods. For me, with dreams of creating a homeless shelter and leaving a legacy after I graduated, this has been a frustrating experience.

When they chastise him about not selling a bottle of expensive perfume and giving the money as a donation to the poor, Jesus tells his disciples in Matthew 26:11 that "the poor you will always have with you." So is that it? This guy from two thousand years ago says that we will never completely eradicate poverty, so we should just give up? Have I done nothing in the past three years worth remembering?

The ultimate goal of relief organizations is their own demise. However, that should not overwhelm those people that selflessly take the little steps to save and improve lives day to day.

My original goal of totally eradicating homelessness in Williamsburg was too broad, and at the same time too limited. A homeless shelter, although necessary in this area, is not the only measure of success. Homelessness takes many forms, and not everyone who is homeless is ready to become a responsible homeowner again. Even without a shelter, WHI has managed to put almost 20 families into homes and has provided innumerable others with food, clothing and books. Awareness of the problem is on the rise as well: each year sees an increase in the number of students participating in Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week events, and a Google search of "Williamsburg Homeless" no longer comes up empty.

In the face of frustrations, sometimes all we have left to hang onto is idealism. And as long as problems continue to exist on this earth, there will always be a need for someone secure in the belief that change begins with one person