2022 November #2
By a Joy Junction Staff Member (JBF)
Think about it…
The sun has gone down. It’s dark. You are alone. You are huddled in a corner you call “home” with all your belongings close by. You are wearing your coat, zipped up as far as it will go, and have a blanket wrapped around you. You hold your body tight with your arms, tucking your hands in, hoping the cold will not seep through.
You try not to think about your stomach growling from hunger, or your legs trying to cramp up from being in one position for so long.
You only allow yourself to sleep in short segments, to make sure you are aware of your surroundings as much as possible. You hear an unfamiliar sound, but are afraid to move because it would draw attention to yourself. Fear increases as you hear footsteps cautiously approaching.
What will happen next?
Many of us are not in the position of having to worry about safety while living on the streets, food to eat, shelter from the elements, or no companionship from family or friends on a daily basis. We don’t really spend too much time thinking about possible unforeseen obstacles that may pop up at any given moment concerning those same things.
For the homeless, it’s a constant concern.
As well, the loneliness and isolation from the “normal” population is almost unbearable. There may be plenty of people around, but no one looks your way…or if they do, there’s a look of disdain in their eyes. Being alone, feeling alone, is hard.
It’s something most homeless people experience over and over, every single day, as
they are ignored (not paid attention to) or overlooked (not even seen).
Feeling invisible does something to their mental and emotional being.
Can you imagine how that feels?
To be looked at as a nobody is demeaning and discouraging.
We do not want to be guilty of ignoring or overlooking those who fall into the homeless category and are seeking help. Providing the necessities of life is part of our ministry to serve those who have fallen on hard times.
That’s why we truly enjoy setting aside a special day to serve a full Thanksgiving meal, complete with turkey, dressing, and all the fixings, along with pie and coffee, at our annual Thanksgiving Feast (held at the convention center) and at our shelter. We also hand out special holiday meals from our Lifeline of Hope mobile food/hygiene trucks as they travel throughout the city.
It warms our heart to know we are making a difference in the life of each person who receives a holiday meal, even if it is just for that day.
Many of you partner with us as we strive to provide for the needs of the homeless and hungry of our city, and we are so very grateful for all your help. We appreciate the compassion you show each time you reach out to offer assistance.
As you go through this Thanksgiving holiday, please take a moment to reflect on the many blessings you have received this last year.