From February 15 – 22 Floris UMC is hosting roughly 35 individuals as part of the FACETS Hypothermia program. The guests arrive at 5 and are fed, offered showers and various opportunities for entertainment e.g., watching television, playing games or reading. One of the guests wrote his reflections on what it is like to be homeless.
When the snow falls on Northern Virginia, the bustling city stops to take a breath of fresh air – inhaling the solitude known only to a few. Dogs get more attention and families gather together, often alone in thoughts of tomorrow.
As homeless persons we receive the undivided attention of others, taking time from their busy lives to help or talk or listen to the forlorn stories waiting for a happy ending. Jobs seem plentiful but are scarce when one asks what day am I joining the team.
Zulu and other job sites offer hope for jobs which are often already filled from within. Managers are quick to interview but take longer to make tough choices about hiring. Older workers are less in demand despite great skills. Young ones hope for a future free of college debt.
In the end nothing goes as planned, an afternoon siesta becomes the order of the day, bringing darkness against hope.
So the homeless dreams are filled with sleep, interruptions and restless days ahead. A lack of housing is a common theme followed by nagging medical problems which are illusive and hard to solve. Assistance is welcome and accepted gracefully.
Nightmares haunt many who long for a restful sleep without the past creeping into future plans. One day all hope to join the working ranks and shed the stigma of poverty in Northern Virginia.
God bless us all and may we live in peaceful co-existence.
The Homeless Prayer: God give us rest, peace and happiness free of stigma and guilt.
Music moves the soul and calms the weary mind. For another day has come and gone without the friends long forgotten. A tribute to soldiers plays and those we remember are not forgotten.
A small tear is shed and the music moves on to happier times, rock ‘n’ roll and the 60s greats with which we sing along. Are the good times really gone or just pushed back in our minds? Recall brings them back in glory and fanfare.
A nice hot shower washes away the tears and brings a restless sleep.
The new fallen snow is still white and beautiful but the sun and time will tarnish its glow and cover the streets with chloride spots and lines passing down the street. Stay in the lines they are your friends.