I see that look.

“Why are you stopping the blog?” “I’m not” I keep replying. “I’m just sorta, kinda, maybe, wondering if I just shouldn’t pull back for a while.” Honestly for four years I have given 100% to homelessness in the Phenix City/Columbus area. During that time I have met fantastic people. Not only on the streets but so many great great folks have stepped up to bat with me and helped me accomplish what many want to look away from. < Giving men and woman with no hope: hope again.>

“But you don’t understand,” someone told me a few weeks ago. “My daughter reads it all the time.” This wasn’t the first time someone told me that since I decided to take a step back and really consider what direction I want to go. I’m the executive director of our homeless outreach and all eyes are on me to see what I think might be where I place my next step.

My husband went out to the streets today and came back with the street report. Don had a seizure and was hospitalized for 6 days. He’s back at camp doing fine. One camp where “Moses” (Missy gave him his name) stays has 3 bikes hidden. We’re sure all stolen so that means Moses is back to stealing from everyone. Oh and Don wondered where Missy and I had been. Heck the last time I took him his clean clothes he made it real clear he was mad at us so we just stayed up out of his camp. Now he’s upset because we hadn’t been there to check on him. I just smile and shake my head. That’s Don.

Freddie was able to pray with a large group of men in their new location and he also met the newbie on the streets. Calvin is his name.

What sparked my fire however was when he told me Homer tried to kill himself.” How?” I asked Freddie. He attempted to jump off the bridge he lives under. Honestly I do not know what I would do if he had succeeded. I love all the men out there but Homer… I shiver thinking about it,

I hit the streets tonight by myself. I have to figure out my balance and my direction in all of this but I thought “My God they’ve all taken a nose dive.” So I marched up to the men and let them know I hadn’t left them. They have to know that. For awhile now I have felt like I had hurt them by enabling them to depend on me for emotional support. I wanted them to stand on their own 2 feet. Now I see they need to see me regularly.

Tonight Black Tony found me. It’s been months since he went to jail. Now he’s clean and free. No more warrants chasing him around. Steven cried when he hugged me. I met the new Calvin and he seems like a really nice guy. Timmy wants me to bring him an egg sandwich with mayo. Steven and Calvin heard and said they would like the same. These are my guys.

Went over into Columbus to ck on a few others I heard were sitting on Broadway. Donnie was very drunk and my son came home 10 min. after me and said he saw Donnie being arrested when he came out of the gym. Josh said he told Donnie to pour out his beers but Donnie didn’t listen. It’s all good as Tom says, he’ll stay alive in jail.

I found Petra and gave her some shirts I had for her. Black Jonathan needs clothes. Moses wants clothes. I have no clothes right now. Somehow by tomorrow morning I’ll find a pair of 32 and 34 jeans.

Everyone wants to beat up Robert again. I told them to hold on a few more days. He’s leaving town on Wed. for Nebraska. Don’t ask……

Joe Joe had another small stroke at the nursing home. He was in the hospital a few days. His speech seems a bit harder to understand but other than that he seems the same except he’s so depressed.  I am scared for him. I’ve seen that far away look in eyes before. He’s starting to see a place I’ve never seen. It’s odd how you can watch someone begin to release their hold on living and begin to welcome death.

Joe Joes frail, I don’t want him to let go…my God how I love that man.

Sonny isn’t doing well at all. He stays asleep most of the time. Tom is keeping an eye on him

Saw Louis tonight. He said Crazy Larry beat an empty 32 oz glass bottle over his head until it shattered. Very common for Crazy Larry. He beats poles until his hand breaks. He picks wood up out of fires by the inside of his arms.

Can I really go anywhere? Can I help them? Gosh folks I don’t know. I do know this much, they trust me. I can go into any of their camps and all they know about Momma Jaye is that I love them and I am safe. That friends can get you real far in a hallowed out life.

Pray for me and Missy. We talk about it a lot and we aren’t ready to see anyone else die this year. We’ve watched so many die awful gruesome deaths. They’re lined up and I see that look. God where do I go from here?


2 Responses to “I see that look.”

  1. Its your mission in life to give these people, some kind, any kind of hope that you possilby can. Your job now is to make a decision as to how much or how little you can give at this time. Its tough but you can’t do it all, they have to want to do some of it themselves. Remember they are grown men and women, you can be their friends but you can’t be everything to them all. YOu can feed them the word but they have to want to do something with it.
    Try to find the middle ground for the time being and let them know that you can be there for them. Let them know particular days and times you can be there to help them and try to manage. You will make it work for all concerned.
    If you need clothes let us know we will start getting another box together for you!!!

  2. I have some clothes gathered together too…not much but Sunday, I’ll ask at church. With all the people getting their kids new things for school, we might find some outgrown jeans to send you. I’ll try to get it ready by next week some time.

    And just do what you can. That’s all you CAN do. I’m proud of you and your work no matter how much time you can afford right now.


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