Getting out from behind my desk is a treat. It’s fun to be out and about in the city during the week, to feel part of the community around me. When it’s because I get to visit with some of the people who live in our housing or are served through our shelter program, it’s more than a treat – it’s a privilege.
On Monday I went with a great photographer, Shelly Mosman, to get photos of some of the people we serve. Pictures, as they say, tell the story in a way that words sometimes don’t. (Though it pains me, a certified “word girl,” to admit that.)
We met Faith, Jamari, Sidney, Robert, Kristina, Garlicia and Rich. They live in various Beacon properties. They became homeless for different reasons. Today each has a home with the support they need to make it. They agreed to have their pictures taken to help us educate more people why affordable and supportive housing is needed, and why individuals and congregations and public funders should invest in it.
Helping to tell their stories in pictures (and words) is the best part of my job. These are stories of struggle, hope, redemption. Faith is a recovering alcoholic. Sidney is an addict, a year and a half clean and sober. Kristina (pictured above) couldn’t find reliable care for her two-year-old so she kept losing jobs. Rich’s adoptive parents moved out of state and pretty much left him on his own.
They are stories of plans and dreams. Faith just got hired at Macy’s. Sidney used to sing in a gospel choir and wants to get back to his music. Kristina had just moved in to a one-bedroom apartment with on-site staff to support her to find work and child care. Rich works full-time and has paid off nearly half of his school loan debt; he’d like to return to college and become a real estate broker.
Because of Beacon, these men and women can dream and plan. It’s my job, and my privilege, to share their stories. Now you know them, too.