By: Julie Loomis

Word on the Street Issue 42, April 2024

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Spring is in the air as the winter winds slowly go away.  Time for new life and growth.  The guest at Interfaith sanctuary are like the plants. Some are able to find a way out of what caused their homelessness and some are lost in the wind.  I am one of the lucky ones that have blossomed in this environment.

I would never have thought that the bottom I hit would end up a blessing.  Interfaith sanctuary has many programs that can help people find ways out of their addictions or work on their mental health. I became an artist and a writer.  Skills I never was able to develop when I was struggling with my depression and taking care of everyone but me.

It is just like a gardener who has to know the right type of soil and the best time to plant.  Many people I have met here are ready to change so they can be successful when they get a chance for housing.  Many move on but end up homeless because they were not ready to go back into the world.  I have seen some people who succeed and keep coming to the group. It is a big change when you find yourself living alone again.

I have also seen the ones that look like they should be able to stay sober or take care of their mental health and suddenly they go back to drugs or alcohol.  Not everyone is able to grow in this environment.  That is why having programs like recovery and wellbeing are needed. 

Homelessness is just a part of the problem.

 Why someone becomes homeless is just as important. I would have failed miserably without the support and friendships I found here.

I hope to keep coming to group and eventually become a volunteer to help others to break the pattern that causes them to become homeless.

Society needs to realize that homeless people are not going to disappear or get better without help.  More shelters like Interfaith sanctuary are needed.  Even group therapy in other places would help.  Addressing the gap in mental health and other disabilities and lack of resources is a crucial part in finding solutions to homelessness. 

There are kids just out of high school living on the streets because of their mental health issues.  I can go on about the elderly and addicts but I think you get the picture.  So I am going to be part of the solution and I hope my readers will join me. 

We recently moved some plants to the Phoenix building and an amaryllis that has not bloomed for two years bloomed within days.  That is what we are, just waiting for the sun to shine on us.