“The first rule of surviving homelessness – BE INVISIBLE” –Danny
BE INVISIBLE. This is how my friend Danny survived on the streets of Austin for 30 years. After losing both his family and his work, Danny found himself alone with no place to call home. He quickly learned that the best way to survive was to draw as little attention to himself as possible, and certainly not reveal the location of his campsite hidden off the highway. In order to protect himself from those who would do him harm or steal the few possessions he had, Danny needed to be invisible.
However, the truth is that our homeless brothers and sisters are not invisible. Though they may try to hide themselves behind a sign on the street corner, under an overpass or in their urban camps, you and I can see them. They are hungry, isolated and vulnerable. They struggle every day to find food, clothing and a safe place to sleep. They are our neighbors.
When they see our Mobile Loaves & Fishes trucks serving in the streets of Austin, our homeless friends come out of their hiding places. They come to feed their bellies, and also to nurture their souls.
RELIEVING IMMEDIATE HUNGER IS FUNDAMENTAL TO TAKING THE NEXT STEP TOWARD HEALING, EARNING AN INCOME, MAKING A HOME, AND DEVELOPING HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS.
This past summer, Danny made his way home to Community First! Village. He has a safe, permanent place to live in a caring community. Danny is also giving back. He leads Truck Team 888, which is staffed with homeless and formerly homeless volunteers. One of those volunteers is Lynn.
Lynn never knew her father, and at just nine years old, she was caring for her alcoholic mother and her six siblings. Eventually, Lynn and her brothers entered the foster care system, and little by little she began to lose her family. As an adult, Lynn found a job, got married, and had a daughter. She built the stable family she always wanted, but when her husband passed away, Lynn’s life was never the same. She struggled with addictions, and her rebellious daughter left home. She lost her job and soon lost her apartment. Lynn reconnected with her mother, and once again became her care-giver. Sadly, Lynn’s mother died not too long ago, and Lynn was devastated by the loss of her family. She was alone again.
“I NO LONGER BELONGED TO ANYONE OR ANYWHERE. I HAD NO FAMILY. I JUST DIDN’T CARE ABOUT ANYTHING ANYMORE.” – Lynn
It didn’t take long for Lynn to find her place serving on Team 888, and her home in Community First! Village. Because of loyal friends like you, this year Lynn will spend Thanksgiving in her new home surrounded by friends.