Just A Nobody

My photo
This blog was started to share the journey of what God has called me to do, serve our friends whithout homes. A long the way it has also become part of my journey as well.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Photo by-Ken Winkleman

Ken was downtown and ran into one of our friends from the park. He took this picture of him. I thought it was beautiful and wanted to share it with you. Who's face do you see?

We are all created in His image!!!!

Monday, December 21, 2009


News clip of memorial above(the news reports eight lost, we read of fourteen names of lost loved ones)

Today, December 21 is the represents the first day of winter. It is also the day that we all come together at the Corpus Christi shelter to remember our friends outside that have passed during the year.

As I arrived I was amazed at the amount of people who showed up, not just those on the streets but also those from the community, all wanting to show in someway that these wonderful people were not forgotten and loved.

It was a beautiful memorial. An Indian drum circle played Native American songs on the drums. People from different religious backgrounds spoke and read poetry. Christian, Jewish and Buddhist prayers were spoken, each reminding of the peace, hope, love and acceptance we need in our lives. The one thing that stood out in my mind was some of the words that Henry, the director of Corpus said, “We all leave footprints on the hearts of the lives we come in contact with and those footprints are carried on to the next person.”

As I stood among the hundred or so people, you could see the hurt and fear in their eyes. The hurt over lost friends and the fear that it could be them. As I stood there one of the young men walked up next to me and stood real close. Then at one point I thought someone had bumped into him and knocked him into me. As I caught my footing I notice that no one had bumped him, but instead he was trying to lean on me. He was trying to get as close as he could. I looked him in the eyes and I could see his hurt and pain. No words were spoken, I knew what he was after, I held out my arms and he collapsed in my arms sobbing and sobbing. We both stood crying as they read off the fourteen names of those we lost this year.

Another came up and asked if I would remember her if she were gone. One asked if I would hold is hand. One man I did not know kept circling around and then just walked up and hugged me and said, “I love you!” One after another came just wanting to be touched and held for a moment. Each just wanting to know that they to are not forgotten and loved. I pray that the footprint I leave on the lives of my friends is that they are loved, they are someone special and they will always be remembered! I know each and every one of them has left their footprint on my life. For those fourteen we lost this year, I pray that they also knew how deeply loved they were.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


When you first glanced at me, did you see that I am a Charlie Brown Tree? But, if you look closer there is more to me to see.

At one time I had roots and a foundation. I lived among the forest of beautiful trees, tall and proud. Unforeseen circumstances and an unstable foundation brought me crumbling down. Now my foundation is a bit wobbly and it’s held together with nails and scraps of what was once me.

I am not much to look at; just a small branch is all that is left. Even though I once lived among the large forest, along the way I became broken, discarded and now just a piece of my former self.

Now they hide me in the back lot, to ashamed for me to be seen. The ones who stand tall and beautiful are the ones people want to see. So, here I sit alone, unseen, unwanted and unloved. Wishing someone could see me for what I could be.

Look closer at me; do you see it? I struggle to hold onto one single bulb, it still glimmers and shines from time to time. It holds my hopes and dreams. It is my gem for the world to see, if they would only look.

If you wrap a blanket around my foundation, I will stand a little taller. If I were tended to patiently, fed, watered and given love, I would begin to grow strong again. It wouldn’t take much.

In time I may begin to look much like my former self, but I would be different in many ways. This time because tended to with love, my foundation will be stronger and my roots will grow deeper. I would stand taller and prouder than all the other trees, because you saw the hidden beauty in me.

Our friends in the park are much like this tree. Broken, discarded, no longer have a firm foundation to stand on and are just a shell of their former selves. You have looked past the forest of people and saw the discarded, broken and hidden. Thank you for wrapping your arms around them and helping them stand a little stronger. Thank you for caring for them, so they have a chance to grow new roots. Thank you for seeing that they have hopes and dreams and most of all Thank you for Loving them. I see it in their smiles and in their eyes, they come because they know that to you, they are someone special, they are truly loved and you see their hidden beauty! You see more than just a Charlie Brown Tree! Love you very much!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Three Guys and Jesus--by Ken Loyd

One of Ken's http://kenloyd.net/ recent posts that I wanted to share:

Almost nobody in Portland has gear for seventeen degrees because it never gets that cold here…except yesterday…and this week…maybe next.

So I was out with a couple of huge, IKEA bags jammed full of stuff. Socks, tarps, two sleeping bags, hoodies, hats, gloves and, best of all, hand warmers. At one point I ran across three guys huddled together in a small alcove, trying to escape the wind.

“You guys cold?” The cosmic absurdity of that query hit me just as the words left my mouth. Too late to retrieve them, though. Then, “Want some handwarmers?”

Guy #1 took the four pair I handed him and, as I fumbled for more, gave one each to his buddies. Now he had two and the others had one each. #1 fiddled with the extra handwarmer, twirling it in his fingers uncomfortably. An imbalance. What to do? I gave four each to his friends and without a word they each handed one back to their generous friend. Balance achieved!

I think there is a tincture of Jesus in most, maybe all, people. It shows itself in the form of love, sharing, taking in then giving away, even to our own hurt. Would these guys name the name of Jesus as their Lord and Savior, World Without End, Amen? I don’t know, I didn’t ask, but I observed His life coursing through their veins in that moment.

It happens often in downtown Portland, Oregon among the “least” of these.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


I awoke this morning to the morning news. The head of one of the biggest shelters here in town was on the news stating that with the bitter cold weather no one is turned away. Then went on to state that they opened addition bedding for women and children and there is still plenty of room there. The one problem with that is, most people on the streets are men. Yes, no child should have to endure this weather or spend the night on the streets, but if there are empty beds why do we have people sleeping outside? Oh Yeah, they said no one was turned away. What we want people to hear and what is the truth is not always the same.

With temperatures dropping down to minus five last night, I was thinking that was great, those who normally do not have a place to stay found shelter from the cold. I still wanted to check on the guys and headed to the underpass. There were the guys, bundled under many blankets, but thank God alive.

I started asking around about how everyone is doing and what can I do to help them staying warm. I said, “So you were able to get into the shelter last night?” “No”, was the reply. One was turned away stating that the shelter said they were full. When the cop found him early that morning, he stated his reason for camping out. The cop drug him to the shelter and when asked the shelter stated that no one was turned away….who do you think the cop believed? Trespassing ticket was issued. No money for the ticket and now he will have to do time for something someone else lied about. Another one of my guys has a prior conviction, which I will not get into here. He has done his time; he doesn’t drink, is always trying to help others and is an all around nice guy. Because of his conviction he was told he couldn’t stay there.

These are just two and there are many other stories. It was minus five last night and if I would have left my dog outside and someone found out, I would be in trouble for animal cruelty. I want to know why in the hell an animal has more rights and is treated better than our fellow human beings? Yeah I am mad, mad that a shelter will say anything to make themselves look good to the public, so donations keep coming in and in fact they are turning people away. I want to know why the same place will continue to hold judgment over a man, never giving him a second chance? Every year we lose people to the elements and it is always the same on the news “just a homeless guy who lost his life to the cold.” Well it wasn’t some homeless guy, this is someone I cared about, someone I loved, and he was a friend and part of my extended family. I am so tired of see my friends discarded like a piece of trash on the side of the road and I don’t know how to change it.

Yeah I am on a rant, I am venting…call it what you want, but no matter what you call it…IT’S STILL NOT RIGHT for people to be treated like this and we will have to answer for our actions in the end!!!