Friday, August 10, 2012

Another Long Time Later

Clearly I have not  improved at the task--or joy--of posting. It has been another six months or so, but today there is a sad tale to tell. Earlyy in the hours of August 9 the house where we began this ministry burned. The good news is that the nine people living there got out, or as the fire chief put it, "exited" the building before anyone got hurt. That is a blessing. Some of them lost some things, but most of their possessions were retrieved soon after the fire.

The News Messenger story is here:  http://marshallnewsmessenger.com/fnews/fire-leaves-nine-homeless/article_365f1091-c4ab-556f-8cad-f1f754a03677.html?mode=story

The folks who didn't have family or friends close came to the shelter. We happened to have another house just about ready to rent or sell, so the remainder are in that house or will be there soon.. The plumbers had just that day finished repairing the plumbing. The plumbing had to be repaired because someone cut out most of the copper pipe under the house. So life goes on, and all in all, the whole situation resolved itself rather quickly and smoothly. We all were tired, of course, having been routed out of bed at 1:30 a;m; and remaining awake most of the night, but that also has resolved itself.

The thrift store continues to develop. We had an early sale last weekend, just for a Saturday morning. It was about a hundred degrees that day at that time, so we were pleased that anyone came to the sale. That will probably repeat itself every few weeks. Donations keep coming in, more than our folks can use, so we sell the rest to raise money for the shelter. I now have a little Paypal gadget on my cellphone that enables us to accept credit and debit cards,
 
With that, I will sign off for the day. The next post will have pictures.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Long Time, No Posts

Apparently dedication to making blog posts is not my strong point. I see that the last one was in June of last  year. I could use the excuse that we have been busy, but that wouldn't be much different from anyone else or any other time, so I won't.

 A lot has happened since June, most of it good. We have had many people in and out. For some, it hopefully was a good thing. For others, it may not have been. There were several folks who left at our request. That is usually because of drug use or contentiousness, or refusal to make any effort to change. There was one resident who claimed to have been kidnapped by her drug dealer. Maybe that happened and maybe not, but she has since moved on. The next day, to be precise.

We see folks who are just down on their luck, and we see folks who have learned very well how to get what they need from others while seemingly oblivious to any need to do anything to help themselves by their own initiative. The question is often, if not always, what is can't, and what is won't? On a personal level, it would be very distressing to ask for help, and I cannot imagine how people can continue to keep asking despite having been told that there is no more help available. On the other hand, I have been blessed in my adult life to not have needed the kind of help that we offer at My Friend's House, but many people have helped along the way in many other ways. So I don't know what I would do if night was coming and I had no place to sleep.

Have we learned anything about operating a shelter since we opened in June?   You betcha. Do we have anything left to learn?  For sure and certain! Do we need to make changes?  Always. One of the changes we are making is to make the Internet available to residents. For a long time that did not seem necessary or desirable, except to use the computer in the office for job-hunting or other necessary or helpful activities, and we did not want it to be a distraction for those not needing to waste time. Now, however, we have one person who is taking college classes online, and for whom it would be much more convenient than going to the library. So we will give it a probationary time and reevaluate later.

Speaking of evaluation, we have added a self-evaluation form that residents complete  at regular intervals. This is used as a guide to evaluating progress and for determination of continued residency. It is our belief that if residents are not making a good faith effort to make positive changes, it doesn't do much good for them to stay here. They would have a roof, a bed, and a place to take a shower and wash their clothes, but without that effort would not progress.


On another note about progress, we are making slow but steady progress in getting the store built. We get calls from people needing clothing, and are anxious to be able to supply that once again. Right now the remainder of what we moved from the downtown location is still in storage. We have been able to sell some large donated items, such as refrigerators, a drop-in stove, and other items to raise funds for the shelter. Some of the money to do that comes from various churches and individuals, from the small charge to the residents, or from us. Residents are not charged for the first three days, but charges begin to accumulate after three days.

Enough nattering for today. Please, if you have had the patience to read this, be aware that we have not quit, and are not planning to. There is still much work to do. We are grateful for the help that each of you has been so generous to supply, and hope you will see fit to continue.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

We Are Open!

The Billie Hamby Memorial Shelter, or My Friend's House 2, finally open. We admitted our first official resident today, and have about five on the way tomorrow or Monday.

This is what took so long. Well, actually not this, but getting cleared for the visit did.

Dining room (same room as the living room and the exercise room and the meeting room and the clothes folding room).

Living room and Dave,

To keep in shape--never liked exercise equipment in the living room, but there is nowhere else. Come to think of it, I just never liked exercise equipment. If I exercise, I want something to show for it, like a painted wall.

The food is here, most of it donated. So after almost two years of searching, planning, and execution, we are finally open. There are still many things to do, and much need for funds, but this is certainly a milestone. Thank you, those of you who have prayed, helped, and given money. Come see us when you can, and call us when we can be of help.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

We Need Help

The best-laid plans of . . . you know that quote. Here we are, ready to open, but a major (for us) complication has arisen. The fire marshal tells us that we will have to have a fire alarm system, because we plan to house people.

So here is what we need help with:

 1. If any of you know a company that installs fire alarms in this area, please let us know (so far our search has been fruitless).

 2. Better yet, if you know any companies that do it economically, so much the better.

3.  If you have any quick fund-raising ideas, better yet.

4. OR, if you have some money, and want a Fire Alarm System named for you, send it, and we will call it the Generous Donor Honorary Fire Alarm System, with your name in place of Generous Donor in Big Letters right inside the front door.

All kidding aside, even though we do not really understand the need for this, it looks as if it will be necessary to put it in, and we have pretty well spent the last of the funds. We know that God will provide, so we are putting all we can in it, and pray that some of you will see fit to help.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Thoughts on Troubling Bird Behavior

For the past few days, a bright red robin has seemed rather intent on attacking my bedroom window. His behavior is bizarre. He will fly up and land on a branch just a foot or two from the window and then fly with all his wing power, beak forward for the kill, only to hit an immovable object and slide and fall to the ground. And then less than a minute later, blam! Again and again, over and over.

I have talked to people who seem to know more about birds than I do, as to why the little thing keeps on doing this. The general consensus seems to be that the creature observes a reflection of himself in the window as it acts like a mirror, since the inside of the house is darker than the bright daylight. Thus seeing what he must believe is another male bird in “his” territory, he becomes intent on removing the usurper and possible competition for the area females.

I don’t know how long this little drama will play out, but my thought is that the final outcome could possibly be the picture of his little red carcass, dead from repeated blows to his head, lying on the ground below the window.

Perhaps there is a moral to this story. It might be that the bird finally did manage to destroy his foe. The irony being that the enemy that he killed was himself.

Is there a parallel in human behavior? It appears that we humans tend to proceed to behave in ways that are detrimental to our bodies, our minds and ultimately our souls, albeit in ignorance and misperceptions, believing a lie for truth and seeing darkness as light, so that the “enemy” we finally destroy is actually ourselves.

In this season, as thoughts of the cross of the Christ and the glorious victory come to mind, the command from Jesus to take up our own cross and follow Him to His cross—to die to self and allow Him to live in us, to choose life in Him—becomes a preferred way to life so we don’t have to continue to have war with ourselves like that bird did.


David R. Snow

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Oh, Yes: One More Thing We Need

I forgot one thing we need. Because of the generosity of people, we have rice. In fact, we have so much rice that we bought a 44 gallon trash container just to store the rice. That was not enough space, so we have about fifty pounds in a bin. So rice is not what we need. WE NEED GOOD RICE RECIPES! Those you have cooked forever, not those in a magazine that call for sixteen exotic ingredients available only in expensive grocery stores in metropolitan areas.

We will be waiting, saucepan in hand.

What We Need At My Friend's House

Some of you might be saying that we need things like organizational skills, less clutter, and more space. And you would be right. All those, however, will come in good time, hopefully. What we need right now is plastic bags. WalMart, Kroger, SuperOne, Brookshire's, whatever. So if you have any you need to part with, please let us have them.

 And thanks.