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Adult Children

Our kids are cute. They say funny things. They are blunt. They are loving and they are kind. They are so easy to love. But it is our adult children that have taught me what real love is. Just over six years ago I walked through Hope Street’s doors for the first time. I didn’t want to be here. I was scared of the neighborhood, what happened inside this building and simply the people. In my mind it was a building full of people who had made terrible choices and quite frankly probably deserved the life circumstances they found themselves in. Harsh, I know, but as a 22 year old I was convinced love was a transactional thing, that you had to earn it and then maintain it. I can recall countless co

One Last Goodbye

I love the adults at Hope Street. But I love the kids so much more. Honestly, WAY MORE. The kids are awesome. At first they are super shy, no matter the age. Some are very hesitant at first..not sure if I am a “safe” or “trusted” person. They smile behind their mom's legs. They pop their head into my door, or the doorway of another staff member. They smile..their eyes begging, “Are you safe?” Yes. Yes I am. As time moves, kids become so, so, familiar. I know their smell. It’s good. Some smell like soap. Like a fresh bath. Like hair gel. Like laundry. I know the sound of their feet. I can tell the littlest to the biggest. I know their laugh. I know the sound their little poof ball thingy make

I have gained weight!

“Flourishing goes beyond happiness, or satisfaction with life. True, people who flourish are happy. But that’s not the half of it. Beyond feeling good, they’re also doing good - adding value to the world.” - Barbara Fredrickson Many of us watch the scale and hope to see less pounds present than the week before. Many of us have an unhealthy relationship with food. Food is our comfort or our nemesis. We eat too much or not enough. While I by no means am a healthcare provider what I do know is at Hope Street we often are able to tell how well someone is doing by their weight. We don’t ask anyone to step on a scale; but we do celebrate when the frail, lifeless frame comes to life and gets some “

You Speak

"Then God said.... So God created...." - Genesis 1:26-27 I do not usually like taking snippets of bible passages - I worry that I might misconstrue or manipulate the meaning to fit my own; but this phrasing "Then God said.... So God created...." has struck me lately. He has called your name out of the dark void and into existence - each of us is walking in that truth right now, whether we believe or not. Father God I am grateful for the whole of your creation, especially humanity, whom you have endowed with your image. Father, I pray that we are also mindful, then, of the power of our own words - to shape, uplift, create... or tear-down and destroy. Father, let our words be a balm to our bro

Paper Box Living

When I was in high school there were opportunities to experience a life of poverty. So well intentioned students would get a paper box, and sleep in it downtown Chicago late fall. I never did this. But I have tried to put myself in situations and places to attempt to understand or come to grips with the reality many of our men, women and children have experienced. What I have learned is this is not helpful. Instead of placing ourselves in situations to attempt to experience, we ought to simply ask someone about their real life experience. We further create the divide when we allow our inaccurate experience to define or determine how the other feels in any given situation. This is true of a