SODO

controllingPAIN

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PLEASE MEET AUNTIE:

I met Auntie 10 days ago, she was sitting on the bumper of Buddy's RV, head bent down, groaning and holding her wrist. Buddy, also homeless and a friend to many, shared that the person she was staying with beat her up. It was clear she needed to go to the ER.

While on I-5 Auntie needed to throw up. We got the window down just in time, a good deal of it finding the side of the car. She couldn't stop apologizing. I couldn't stop thinking how horrible to be 68 yrs old in such pain, getting a ride to the hospital from a complete stranger.

Yesterday we met again. She was feeling better, lots of smiles. Her wrist had not been broken, still swollen, but healing. When I asked where she'll be sleeping, Auntie put her hand on the seat, said, "Right here". I looked at the darker sky forming over West Seattle and asked "What if it rains?" She looked at me like I was stupid, replying, "I'll get wet."

We had a long talk. Conversation that included her growing up in Seattle, her mom dying when she was 16, her father trying to rape her, and lots lots more. Too much to tell. I asked what her plans were. Not just for tonight but for her future. She said, "Getting housing, but that seems all but impossible."

In 2000 Auntie had a pain pump surgically implanted. Without medication she couldn't even walk due to the pain in her legs from an auto-accident. It worked great till 2016 when they cut off giving meds because she owed $280.00. She turned to heroin to control the pain.

I asked if she were to get the meds again, would she get off heroin? Auntie looked squarely at me and said, "In an instant".

UPDATE: The Paypal link has been pulled in that our goal of raising $280.00 has been reached with $494.92 donated!!! With these funds we will cover the cost of getting Auntie's meds started again. Remaining funds will be used to give care to Auntie. No cash goes directly to her and as is always the case, no funds whatsoever go to Facing Homelessness. A heartfelt THANKS to everyone that reached out with support and LOVE!

There are a good many challenges in front of Auntie, but she is a fighter, a tough survivor. It feels like this could be a good start for her, giving her a chance to get back on her feet. Let's raise the $280.

A bigBIG COMMUNITY LOVE to you Auntie!!!

SODO nieghborhood | Rex

A QUIET THOUGHT - If you're moved by the goodness of this community, please visit http://www.facinghomelessness.org/ and click on the 'donate' button and consider a "monthly recurring" donation of just $5 in support of the work. THANK YOU!
#JustSayHello #Kindness #FacingHomelessness

heartBROKE

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PLEASE MEET JEANIE:

While visiting Dee, who lives in an RV with Devin in the SODO neighborhood, I learned their friend Jeanie was having a really difficult time. We walked two blocks to the U-Haul she was living in, she was sitting in the front seat staring ahead.

When I came up to her my first thought was how kind her face was. I asked, "How are you doing?" She looked at me and started to cry, she said, "Not very good."

For an hour she cried, telling about the mess she's in. For 12 years she took care of her mother, then 10 months ago her mom died and everything went downhill. She rented a car to get a job with Lyft to pay for a room in a house and also pay off her mom's burial expenses. All was going well until a car crashed into her, wrecking the rental. At first the guy was nice, apologizing, next minute he took off, before Jeanie could get information. She lost her job, then her room, that was in June.

Up until two weeks ago she was sharing space in an RV, learning to live homeless. She was a wreck, missing her mom, trying to adapt, when the guy kicked her out. She rented a U-Haul on September 15th to move her stuff into storage, planning on returning the vehicle the next day.

Jeanie is disabled, has had 25 knee operations, she moves slow with a cane. While unloading the truck two men came up from behind and knocked her down, hit her again and then stole her purse and money. At first they tried to drag her into the bushes but she screamed and fought back, eventually getting into the back of the U-Haul, where she stayed for two days, fearful of coming out.

Every day that passed Jeanie became more stressed, freaked out that she could not pay U-Haul the rental fee. She wrote a four page letter to them, explaining what happened, hoping it would make a difference. I read it and was overwhelmed.

I told her this community would try to raise the funds to pay the nearly $1,000 owed. I was going to make that post asking all of you to help. But between meeting Jeanie yesterday and now, the police and U-Haul showed up, put everything of hers on the street and took off. I asked the U-Haul person if they could wait one more day, that we would raise the funds owed. He said no chance of that happening.

Tonight Jeanie and all of her belongings are outside. I want to scream. Not at U-Haul. Not at the police. But at who?

Let's raise $750 for a week of hotel stay for Jeanie, giving her some peace of mind just for a bit to help figure things out.

https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr…

LOVE to you Jeanie, you are a beautiful strong woman!

SODO neighborhood | Rex

A QUIET THOUGHT - If you're moved by the goodness of this community, please visit http://www.facinghomelessness.org/ and click on the 'donate' button and consider a "monthly recurring" donation of just $5 in support of the work. THANK YOU!
#JustSayHello #FacingHomelessness #Kindness

enduringSOLDIER

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PLEASE MEET ANDOR


It’s September in South Seattle. Rain pounds the dark scene like a bad cinema effect. A band of beaten down folks has gathered away from the flashing blue lights and hazardous waste vehicles. Their meager salvaged possessions heaped in a few piles and small carts. There’s wet clothing, mold and mental illness in the vacant stares. Confusion and sadness in the aftermath of another encampment sweep. Two grown men embrace each other weeping. A young woman stares stone faced at the ground.

Andor is steel eyed and focused. The rain runs off his face. “They took most of our things.” he says angrily. But he turns and speaks gently to his companions, proposing a strategy for their next camp. He negotiates the chaos with determination and a thick accent.

Andor was born in Budapest, Hungary in a war-torn town and time. The son of a motorcycle gang king-pin, they lived in the woods and in abandoned bomb shelters. He hunted wild pigs and was drafted into the military at a young age. He served a short time as a POW. “I can’t tell you what happened to me there, but afterwards I became a bad person. I wanted to hurt people.”

Andor escaped to America using a fake black market passport. He joined the Army and served in the Persian Gulf, Iraq, and Afghanistan wars. “I was a soldier. Fighting was all I ever knew.” Afterwards he made good money smuggling Mexican families into the US. He was arrested and spent 4 years in prison. He ran a paint business for a while. But a struggle with cancer left him weak and unable to work. Andor became homeless. “I can live this way. I learned how growing up.”

Andor survives conditions that have stirred havoc in the lives and hearts of others. He endures the hardships of homelessness and remains stable surrounded by mental illness, abuse, and emotional trauma. Domestic violence, sweeps, endless rain, and snow. He is appreciated by his small community as they are swept from place to place.

Andor is always polite. Always positive. Always the same.
At age 46 Andor isn’t hurting people anymore. He likes fishing and has a keen interest in post apocalyptic sci-fi. He loves medieval garb, weaponry, and “steam punk” imagery. His mask collection lines the walls of his tents. He has artistic skills blending medieval costume effects with modern styles and materials. His eyes light up as he explains. And it’s really hard to believe Andor ever hurt anyone.

Back at the corner, a distraught man clutches a bible while fumbling aimlessly though damp belongings. A young man sits on the curb and vomits as he cries in the rain. An exiting police car passes by closely. The officer’s eyes remain straight ahead.

SODO Neighborhood | Damian

A QUIET THOUGHT - If you're moved by the goodness of this community, please visit http://www.facinghomelessness.org/ and click on the 'donate' button and consider a "monthly recurring" donation of just $5 in support of the work. THANK YOU!
#JustSayHello #Kindness #FacingHomelessness