My heart broke as they loaded Thomas yet one more time into the ambulance. One of the young fire fighters complained to me, “Can’t you do something about him?” But the reminder to just keep loving him rang through my head.
For years we had tried to help Thomas. He had stayed in our transitional house, the Grace House, but after a couple of months lapsed back into drinking. A few years later he stayed in a SSHH house for a couple of months but was so inebriated every day that he was finally asked to leave. Sadly, there was no other option than to live outside.
But his life style was hard on his body. Several times he landed in the hospital for a few weeks with broken bones from falling which was then followed by months in a rehab center learning to walk again. His most recent hospital stay was different though. In June he broke his femur and his kidneys were shutting down. He said he was tired of living on the streets. After a lengthy stay in the hospital with a couple of operations and then again in a rehab, we decided to give Thomas yet another chance at the Grace House.
We are thrilled to report that his transformation has amazed us all. He is making these beautiful crosses for all of those that helped him while he lived on the streets. It is our hope that Thomas will soon be moving into the Shasta Hotel program in Sacramento where he can live out the rest of his life.
It has taken our HART team and our police and fire departments to help give him a new start in life. Trying to fix him wasn’t the answer, but caring for him was. That is what makes the HART organizations different from government programs. There is personal care paid to our unhoused neighbors. We all need a friend that we can lean on.
HART’s Big Day of Giving is on May 5th. Please consider giving generously to help us end homelessness one person at a time.