Gratitude From A Guest
I want to thank you for each of your contributions to the meals I feel very fortunate to have received. I apologize for having delayed doing this, for not having said this sooner. Explaining how much your kindness has meant to me has required that I also revisit things that are painful and I have tended to put this off.
Being homeless involves a lot of challenges as I am sure you know. For me they included no support network, a chronic shortage of sleep, infrequent hygiene, having to plan ahead just to use the bathroom and having the simplest of things take longer to accomplish. In short, a hugely magnified focus on getting the basic necessities met, to the exclusion of all the rest that most people just take for granted.
At the top of the list of basic needs is food. No one get very far without it. Digging through dumpsters is hit and miss and not very pretty. You not only met my need for food, you provided terrific warm home cooked meals with all the extras. It was more than I could ever expect and it freed me up to focus on my other needs. Thank you. Without your help it really would have been unspeakable.
Out there I was subject to constant vulnerabilities and uncertainties. I never knew from day to day what new surprise I would have to deal with. Would I find a new place to sleep in the last minute, would it rain, would it be possible to defeat the wind and thereby the wind chill, would I wake up with someone trying to get the wallet out of my pocket again, would some of my gear get stolen, would I have to fight to protect myself, would the authorities do something to make my life tougher, drunks at bar time, getting woken up by a camera flash in my face just for fun, the list goes on and on.
The one constant throughout this was the Meal Program. It was the same orderly thing each time. I could always rely on the Meal Program to be the one consistent thing in a sea of chaos. It is probably hard to really appreciate the impact and importance of this if you haven’t experienced everything in your life being up for grabs, prone to being reshuffled without prior notice. Take my word for it. Being able to count on you was a big deal. Thanks for that.
And on the street I was acutely aware that seeing me made people uncomfortable. Different folks dealt with this differently. Some reacted with meanness, some pretended I didn’t exist, and some felt so bad the once in a while gave me a little money or maybe the leftovers of their restaurant dinner. I was cursed, swore at, and had lit cigarette butts flicked at me. People spoke about me as if I wasn’t there. I actually started to feel kind of like an animal.
At the meals I noticed things were different. I never felt like “one of them”. I never felt that you were projecting something onto me. You would actually sit at the table with us or at the next table over. There might be some words exchanged but not always. We broke bread together and shared a meal.
You reduce the distance between us and somehow you were able to just bring your own humanity to the situation. And that tended to pull mine forward. Sometimes I was so preoccupied with other problems I may not have noticed this, but you persisted and it slowly seeped through. I remember at one point thinking that maybe I shouldn’t completely give up on myself, after all. This too was a feeding and on a very fundamental level. Words don’t express my gratitude.
So I hope and pray that throughout all this you too were “fed” in some way. It would only be right. And may God bless you.
Do you love to bake?
Whatever your family’s preferences, your Christmas cookies are very likely more than the sum of their ingredients. Their scents and textures are the stuff of holiday memories within the circle of those you love.
If so we’d love two or three dozen of your holiday cookies, bars or candies to share with our guests. A plate of Christmas treats always brings a smile. Deliver yours to the Luke House in the days leading up to Christmas. We also serve lunch and dinner on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day so bring your treats to us as part of your celebration.
The Community Meal Program at Luke House serves special meals on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. We need your help to provide the food, prepare the meals and serve our guests. If you can, please consider helping us during this time. The Christmas meals brighten the holidays for our guests who look to the Luke House for hospitality, warmth and holiday cheer.
We get lots of help from our neighbors and this year, ad agency Planet Propaganda and Underground Meats joined to create BlitzenSchticks – Merrily Seasoned Polish Pork Sticks.
Available for sale at the Underground Butcher and online at blitzenschticks.com, all profits benefit The Luke House and our Community Meal Program. Consider purchasing them to stuff your stockings!