20
Jan
09

Monica’s Story

I have a friend, let’s call her Monica, who has been homeless since she was 13. I have known Monica for a few months now and meet regularly with her for coffee.

Monica left home due to numerous abuse’s that would turn your stomach if you ever heard.  Pretty bad stuff for a 13yr old to say “my life would be better living in the street than living at home”.

Monica is now 17yrs old. She has had numerous run-ins with the law.  She can be loud and boisterous on cuss es like a sailor when she’s on the street.  It’s all just an act to stay safe on the streets as a young woman who is subject to physical and sexual violence when forced to sleep outside.

However, when I spend time with Monica alone, she’s a sweetheart.  She is soft spoken and gentle with a heart for her friends on the street.  The past month has seen her undergo a huge transformation.  I have been blessed to watch her not only get one job but two.  Monica, for the first time in four years, is off the streets.  She now has her own apartment.  She is stable.  She seems like a different person from the girl I met 4 months ago.  All she needed was someone to care for her, to believe in her, to encourage her, and reaffirm her.

We walked down the block last week to show me where her new apartment building was.  Her smile was contagiously heart warming as I told her that I was proud of her.  I doubt she has ever had a male compliment her without wanting something in return.

As I left, she stopped me to ask, “Dustin, can I give your number to some friends?  They really need some help.  Would you hang out with them too?”

I would encourage you to take time for one person a week for one hour over one cup of coffee.  It may not mean that much to you but could be the difference in that  person’s life.

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1 Response to “Monica’s Story”


  1. 1 Heather Barr
    January 21, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    I love that. It is all true. I have been working 20+ with people in various forms of trouble, mostly the deep, dark variety. You are so right. People in trouble really need the affirmation of their humanity that comes from listening to their story and gently offering companionship and hospitality. Encouragement, acceptance. The feeling of being likable, of being worthy. It is the same as what we should give our friends and children.

    The best medicine is sharing a meal, a cup of coffee. It gives people the strength and confidence boost they need to move to the next phase-housing, treatment, a prenatal appointment, a change of clothes. You will no doubt help her friends in the same way. Time and coffee. The healing elixir.
    And right there, in that mix of you, the girl, the coffee, the noise in the coffee shop, right there is where I have felt the presence of the Holy Spirit the most. Just woven into the fabric of that moment.


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