Years of sleeping under viaducts, in trains, abandoned buildings, homeless shelters, loading docks, in dumpsters, on couches of some compassionate friends and under the hazy starless Chicago sky are finally coming to an end!
Years of being surrounded by masses are also coming to an end; with the crowded drop-in centers and the never-ending lines for food, toilets and that thin mattress on the floor. The peaceful freedom of being alone and being able to choose what television station they wish to watch will now saturate their realities!
….and now that dream is turning into reality…..
Clarence, Reggie and Kenny have battled for self-sufficiency and independence for years; these men aren’t lazy bums, but a few fellas struggling and hustling to overcome the obstacles that are plopped right in front of them. These are men who don’t have the support network surrounding them, enabling them to rise above the things that have held them down. These 3 men are all in their fifties and have seen the “land of opportunity” become a mystifying mist. Because of bad credit, arrests, addictions and health woes, they have been pushed further and further into the miry clay that has trapped them.
Yet, on this blessed week, we are honored to watch their fortunes turn drastically, and for that, we are eternally thankful….
What makes me smile is that I’ve had the privilege of playing a small role in each of their stories of successful movement! I’ve seen the painful journeys each of these men have reluctantly traveled. I’ve witnessed all the blood, sweat and tears shed along the way.
In other words, we made it imperative and vitally important that Clarence, Reggie and Kenny weren’t ignored and forgotten for another 41 years! These 3 chronically homeless men remained focused in our radar…
I’m writing this today, because it’s cause to celebrate; when a chronically homeless man or woman finds a home to live in permanently, a miracle happens! Even though I believe that housing should be every person’s right, a dark reality remains; when someone struggles with homelessness for years, the task of finding permanent housing becomes almost insurmountable and they need the help and guidance of people who love and care for them! But today, these 3 men prove miracles are alive and well in Uptown! What these chronically homeless men received was, a bunch of love, support and guidance, and they found it right here at Cornerstone Community Outreach!
….and now they’re moving into their own apartments, where they’ll be able to relax in their own beds, watch their own TVs, bathe in their own tubs and choose their own food to eat!
To read the full post go to, Setting Prisoners Free.