May 8th 2022

Just one of the stories from a very busy week …..

One morning I came in early to the office and my phone was ringing (already). I usually let the calls go to voicemail til we get settled into our work for the day as there’s quite a bit of prep involved to get ready for our guests. I went ahead and grabbed the phone and it was a gentleman that had never visited us before. He told me his story ….he had recently been released from prison and was trying to get his life back on track. He told me he was trying to find work; he had finally finished his resume after struggling with google docs for 3 days. He admitted he was having a challenge with technology changes that had occurred over the years. I asked how we could be of help and he said he had transportation issues. He was going to start job hunting and asked if I could help with bus passes for a week so he could get around town. I told him I’d see what I could do and asked him to stop by in a couple hours.

I decided that instead of giving him several of our single ride passes, I’d go ahead and get him a pass for the month. (I was able to use funds from the God’s Work Our Challenge grant we received from the Diocese). With this pass, he could take as many rides as he needed each day. I ran down to the bus station and purchased the ticket for him. (Again, not something I’d usually do on such short notice but I had a good feeling about him and I wanted to support his efforts). He stopped by the office late morning as I suggested and I met him at the door. I handed him an envelope with the pass and informed him it was good for 31 days. The man’s face absolutely lit up; he was truly overjoyed. A few of my volunteers were nearby and they all remarked about how happy and grateful he was. A nice end to our day.

A couple days later, I had a message from him; it took me about three tries to finally contact him. In between my attempts I couldn’t help but wonder what he needed. Was there a problem with the pass? Did he lose it? I was set to let him know if it was lost there was nothing further I could do. After my third try, I finally reached him. He said “Do you remember I told you I was job hunting? Well I wanted to let you know I got a job downtown and this pass will help me get back and forth from work all month.” He went on about how much he appreciated our help. I wished him well on his new job. It was a good feeling for us to know we had truly given him a hand-up.