Archive Page 2

17
Oct
09

A Day in the Life…

After a conversation with someone where I moped around about lack of funding and being frustrated with God that things weren’t happening on my time frame…I was challenged by them to record everything that happened in a 24hr period and to reflect on some of the truly awesome stuff that happens daily that I take for granted. They assured me that God was doing some awesome stuff up here in Seattle with One4One and that I often take it for granted or don’t even notice it because its just another day. So randomly I wrote down the events that occurred for me during an average day with One4One.

This was my Tuesday:

1. Bought a plane ticket so someone from the streets can start a new job and move into their new apartment.
2. Paid for transport to reunite someone from the streets with their family.
3. Sat around outside and talked with, listened to, prayed with, counseled, and gave and was given hugs and kisses with drug addicts and drug dealers in the streets of Seattle.
4. Worked on providing someone ID and a social security card to a kid outside who only has his birth certificate and no other pieces of identity.
5. Worked on formulating a plan to get a pregnant woman off the streets and connect her with medical services.
6. Provided blankets to those who are stuck sleeping outside in the rain in weather in the low 40’s without adequate protection from the elements.
7. Connected someone with a case manager.
8. Began helping a kid from the streets figure out how to enroll in college.
9. Listened to friends on the streets who just need someone to talk to and pray with.
10. I met with a group of local pastors where we got to share about our friends outside.
11. I worked on preparing lessons for our 2 church services that we provide at the requests for our friends outside.
12. A good friend in the streets told me that they were on their way to stab someone for money and would have killed them if they hadn’t ran into me.
13. I arranged to move some friends inside to their new apartment.

…I feel blessed to be able share in the lives of some really awesome people.

“We can do no great things, only small things with great love.”
-Mother Teresa

04
Oct
09

Nickelsville needs immediate help from within the faith community

As of this coming Wednesday, the encampment known as “Nickelsville” will once again be homeless. At this time they have no place to go. Nickelsville is asking for help from the religious community. The hope is that a church will offer Nickelville sanctuary on a piece of land or a parking lot anywhere from 1 to 3 months.

If no church can be found, there is no guarantee what will become of the encampment. As I am sure you all are well aware of, there is an abundance of people who sleep outside every night in Seattle. Unfortunately that number will be going up next Wednesday if we as Christians do not step up to the plate. As you all know, this is the time of year where the weather begins to become cold and wet….please help guarantee my friends a place to stay warm, dry, and safe.

I cannot begin to think of the lives we’ve seen changed at Nickelsville…families restored, people getting jobs, people getting housing, people experiencing what its like to have a “home” for the 1st time in their lives…the list could go on and on…

Please, if anyone wants more information, feel free to contact me @318-349-6535 or call Scott Morrow, the staff person for Nickelsville @ 206-450-9136.

Even if you are unable to offer shelter, please pass this information along to anyone who possibly can, and feel free to post this info to as many social media outlets as you have access.

Thanks for the time,

__________________________
Dustin Cross

Director/Co-founder
ONE4ONE

24
Jul
09

Rodney’s story

From one4one co-founder Jeff Greer’s blog:

‘Rodney’ is back at Nickelsville. things didn’t work out where he was trying to stay, and from what I hear, it was probably a great decision to leave. So he came back, this time at the new location. it has been about 2 months since I had seen him. when he first saw us, he was so happy to see us! “you all still comin’ out here every week”. he said, excited to see our familiar faces (its stuff like that that’s why we can’t stay away!) In our gatherings, ‘Rodney’ is one who often shares his own struggles in his life. He is quick to see his faults and mistakes, as are we, which creates an environment of vulnerability and honest like no other.
In two weeks, ‘Rodney’ goes to school to get his CDL license. he had a suspended license but got that taken care of and now he’s saved up to go to school. hopefully he will be able to get a good paying job driving a truck so he can get off the streets and get a place of his own. it wasn’t that long ago, he did 9 years for making and selling Meth. “I’m done with the drugs man… no more for me”, he says. “I’m not going back there!” He’s had some problems with alcohol before, but holds up his Arizona Iced Tea to show me, “Ya see what I’m drinking now”, in his southern accent and ear to ear grin. He also told me of the many other felonies he had committed… all in his past. Struggling to make money, he finds himself living outside… at least in a safe place like Nickelsville!
After some conversation, he comes over after our gathering and tells me how bothered he is that hear that I was still having financial problems. He lives in a tent, in Nickelsville, (which is threatening to be kicked out of their current location next week, btw!) He’s concerned for MY well being… MY needs. “You are an amazing singer”, he tells me…”I know American Idol has an age limit, but you should go on America’s Got Talent… all you need is the right person to hear you and you’ll get signed”.
I laughed but was overpowered by his encouragement… and amazingly humbled by his genuine concern for me! I am consistenly floored by my friends who sleep outside, and how much they care for us and our well being! It is an eye-opening and heart-changing experience to hang out with my friends. They have incredible stories, and they share them with us… just because we see them, and we take the time to listen. the mind-blowing part is they see us back… and they want to listen to our stories, and encourage us… and love us!
“Don’t worry man… it will all work out ok for you” he says to me as I’m leaving.
I will never be the same!

01
Jul
09

As arrest looms near…

My probable arrest looms near as Nickelsville is ordered to leave public land… In response, I thought a little retelling of Dr. King would be fitting.

There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, “When will you be satisfied?” We can never be satisfied as long as the homeless is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the homeless man’s basic mobility is from the steets to a ghetto to a section 8 slum. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their self-hood and robbed of their dignity by their classmates simply for where they live. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until “justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

26
Jun
09

Reflections from the Death of Michael Jackson

Yes, Michael Jackson is dead. Everywhere I turned to today…twitter, facebook, tv, etc. They were all awash in talking about Michael’s death. I don’t really want to sound 100% jaded, but I really don’t care….and here’s why: over the past 10 days, 3 people died in the streets of Seattle and they will never be written about in any newspaper or broadcast on any television channel.

You see, I wish people cared a fraction as much about my friends who have died in the streets in the past 3 weeks as they cared about Michael Jackson. Their lives were just as important to their friends as Michael’s was to his friends. Yeah, yeah, Michael is the king of pop and “should be immortalized forever”, but why, just because my friends were sleeping outside does that mean that they should be forgotten forever? Why shouldn’t they be immortalized too?

24
Jun
09

My friend James….Part 2 (the one you didn’t hear)

The day after the interview below James was called in for an interview at a seafood processing plant within walking distance from Nickelsville. James was excited about the idea. He had previous been accepted to do the same work with 2 friends in Alaska but when it came time to ship out, the company had told him that they did not need as many workers and he would have to stay in Seattle as his 2 friends went ahead.

James was dejected. His friends gone. His main job prospect gone…

After interviewing with the company, James was very confident that the job would be his. Finally the call came….he had gotten the job! But there was a problem. I knew James didn’t have any type of work boots, owning only a pair of clogs and tennis shoes. He new the job would be wet and cold but insisted he would be ok. A few days passed before James would start.

I went to Nickelsville to check in on James and see how his first day went. He was like a kid at Christmas, feeling overwhelmed at the blessing he had received. He had the job he had wanted and he didn’t even have to go to Alaska to get it! And he was amazed at how nice everyone was and how they let people have radios and that he could work overtime if he wanted! You would have thought he had found the best job ever! And for him, he had!

There was a problem though. Later on, he pulled me aside. “Dustin, I’m worried. I stood in water and ice all day. My shoes are still cold and wet.” He had stood all day in freezing water and ice in only a pair of clogs. My heart sank. “Dustin, is that offer still on the table? I tried looking all around the camp to borrow some because I no one has anything that will fit. Can you find a way to get me some shoes? My feet were frozen today…”

Off we went to Payless. James knows that I don’t get paid for what I do and have no job myself. He insisted that we went to Payless because he thought it would be cheaper than Fred Meyer. We purchased a nice pair of waterproof boots. Payless was running a buy one pair get the 2nd one half off sale. I told James to get a 2nd pair. At first he refused, not wanting me to spend anymore money. I insisted. His response, “Dustin, do you think I could get a pair of shoes for church? I’d like to own a pair of dress shoes so that I can look nice for Sunday.” The ones he picked out had a price tag that read $17. They were half off that.

It may not seem like much to you or me, but on Sunday, James will walk into church with a new level of self respect. On Monday, he will not have to spend 12 hours standing in ice all day in only a pair of clogs.

This is my everyday life. This is ONE4ONE. I love, I listen, I marry people, I bury people. I visit the sick and take them to hospitals. I wait there with them and make sure they get treated well. I am there when its snowing and they don’t have a blanket or a jacket or even a pair of socks. I am there when women need to find a safe house because of domestic violence or rape. I am there when they are hungry or thirsty. I am there when they fall in love, I am there when they separate. I am there when they find out they’re pregnant. I am there when they lose custody or miscarry. I am there when they become clean. I am there when they start using again. I am there when they get off the streets. I am there when they feel alone. I listen when no one else will. We laugh together. We cry together. We celebrate together. We encounter God together…This is my everyday life. This is ONE4ONE.

We need your support. You may not be able to make this your everyday life, but you can help make it ours. ONE4ONE has launched. We MUST raise at least $70,000 over the next year to make this happen. We need you…people like James need you…

All donations are tax deductible.

21
Jun
09

My friend James…

This is the story of my buddy James who lives in Nickelsville.  Good guy, good heart, and a good friend.  We should all be fortunate enough to know people like him.

Thanks to Mark Horvath for documenting stories from some of the most beautiful people I know.