Thursday, August 14, 2008

Mr. B and his community

I'll just call him "Mr. B."

He's been living in an apartment out in North Dallas that we've been able to provide him, thanks to a funding stream from the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Like all of our tenants in "Destination Home," Mr. B is disabled. He endures many physical maladies with great grace and amazing courage.

He is seldom idle.

As a matter of fact, Mr. B has taken on the role of leader of our little community inside this one apartment complex. Everyone knows him, and he knows everyone, their issues, history and needs.

Not long ago, during a tour with some interested folks, the subject of access to reliable transportation came up. Mr. B and others explained that tenants enjoy easy access to DART (Dallas' rapid transit system).

Then, he went on, "Yeah, I catch the DART at least once a week and ride down to a nursing home on MLK where I visit folks who don't have anyone else visiting them."

"That's great," I told him. "Is this a program of your church?" I asked. Mr. B recently joined the New Mount Zion Baptist Church, one of the churches that supports our efforts in Destination Home.

"No, it's not. I've been doing this for years now."

Say what?

Mr. B, chronically homeless and disabled, has been visiting "shut ins" in a South Dallas nursing home for years while living on the streets of Dallas.

As Americans we need to "re-frame" our understandings of our homeless neighbors. I've known that for a long time.

Mr. B takes the discussion to a whole new level.

The problem is that we don't really know, I mean know, anyone who is or has been homeless.

I think we ought to work on that. How about you?

I can tell you for sure, as we do so, we are in for some real surprises.


1 comment:

newheights said...

Thanks for the food for thought.