Let It Be Me

OOOO EEEE! I am so stinkin’ EXCITED!

My girlfriend text me last week saying she wanted to talk to me about something she had in mind to help the homeless. She knows I have a heart for them. When I followed up with her I was surprised she was wanting to make sleeping mats for them! I had come across something similar, just months ago. YAY!

It is taking everything I have to NOT be typing everything in all caps! I’M SO EXCITED!

So, I put the idea out to my friends, just asking if anyone could help us collect plastic grocery bags, because we only need like A MILLION of them, and I was again, completely surprised by how many of my friends wanted to help out!

I have THE BEST FRIENDS EVER!!

This seems like a no brainer since I find working with the homeless to be pretty tricky. I’m not one to give money to the panhandlers on the side of the road. I actually don’t give money to anyone really. I have six kids; I don’t have a lot to give.

A few months ago I was researching, what would be better to give someone who was living on the streets. I came across The Phoenix Rescue Missions website. Here I found a video that taught me what I could give, instead of money.

In my car I have two rescue packs on hand ready for someone in need. In them are socks, soap, toothbrush, and toothpaste, as well as a bus pass and a Phoenix Rescue Mission referral card that lists their address, services provided and times they offer a hot meal. This makes me feel I’m giving them a more permanent solution and not just a temporary fix.

The reason I care so deeply is because of my son, Justice. I’ve talked about him. He’s doing amazing well right now, but like anyone who lives with a mental illness, you know things could go south at any time.

That is only part of my fear for my child. The other part is how our society handles individuals with a mental illness, who’s not doing really well. I know half the people living on the streets have a mental illness. I also know another half of them live within our prison system.

The thought of this being a reality for my son truly keeps me up at night.

And I can totally see why they end up on the street. I can imagine life just being too much. I can see relationships being too much. When my son is not doing well, he’s almost impossible to live with.

He doesn’t care how he’s treating me or anyone else. He just wants the voices to quiet. He wants the confusion go away. He wants the hurting to stop. THAT is all he cares about.

To someone who doesn’t know, it looks pretty selfish. It looks pretty disrespectful. Sometimes it looks pretty violent.

Yeah, I can see how someone living with a mental illness could end up on the street or in jail.

I might not be able to prevent this. Honestly, this might not even happen, but still…the thought keeps me up at night. I try to imagine what could my son need if this was his fate. Society might not care, but I do.

So, yeah keeping rescue packs in my truck is important, and making sleeping mats, excites me. Because the way I look at it is maybe my son will never be the one living on the street, but somebody’s son is. And if that were ever my son, I would sure hope someone is out looking after him. And today, that someone might as well be me.

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