As I became more aware of the homeless community on my commute to work I wondered everyday what their day was like. What do they do all day? What if I didn’t have a home to go to at night and depended on community services for food and shelter?
It weighed on my heart and I knew I had to walk in their shoes at least for day. So last year, after much prayer and thought, I shadowed a homeless woman named “Mama Rose” for her 12-hour day. I documented the day with photos and shared the story with others.
I faced fears of riding with strangers. Needless to say I prayed a lot during my experience and relied on my faith and trust in God to see me through. Because I knew in my heart I was supposed to do this.
I will tell you, the next morning when I woke up in my own bed, in my home and knew I could go to my job and resume my “normal” routine, it not only brought me to my knees, but sobbing, face down on the floor. I am so grateful for the life I have and do not take it for granted. To say the least this was an emotional and humbling experience.
I feel this is a continuation of my own experience and I am meant to participate in this project to bring more awareness to the needs of the homeless community. I hope to bring a better understanding of what they go through on a daily basis and that they are people just like you and me who deserve to be loved, not ignored.
There are safe ways to help through community services that can be connected through 2-1-1. This is part of the understanding that needs to take place.
I am grateful and humbled to be a part of this project and am proud to represent United Way of the Bluegrass. It is my hope and prayer to raise enough money and awareness to keep our homeless students off the streets this winter.