Please Know...

As I come to know these fine people, they share with me more of their personal and sensitive stories. Their collective story is what I am trying to share with you as my way of breaking the stereotypical beliefs that exist. "Blog names" have occasionally been given to me by the person whose story I am telling. Names are never their actual names and wherever I can do so, I might use the opposite pronoun (his/her, etc.) just to help increase their privacy.


Monday, July 24, 2017

Caring Community for Mickey

In my most recent blog, I stated the following about Mickey:

It needs to be understood at this point that as far as I know 
Mickey has virtually no one really looking out for her on a day-to-day basis.

In some ways, that's true and that's dangerous.  In other ways, it's far from true and that's the message of this blog.

In the past three days, I've spent about 15 hours searching for Mickey.  I've handed out fliers and posted in relevant groups on Facebook.  I've asked other homeless people, sidewalk restaurant cooks, firemen, nurses, security guards, admissions personnel, and cashiers if they have any insights into where Mickey may be or when they've seen her last.  

Thanks to Facebook, people have contacted me who have seen her in places I haven't and offered guidance on where she might be.  A good friend of hers from her days prior to being homeless offered her insights into Mickey's character, and other aspects of Mickey that are greatly helping with this search.  (I'm trying to tell a story here without breaking confidences.)

There is so much I'd like to share and yet I know I need to keep this brief...

When I first met Mickey, she was folded up within herself to the side of the entrance to the Wawa on Aramingo Ave.  She sat there and asked people for any change that they could spare.  Her clothes were filthy with multiple days or weeks of grime and body sweat (and more) and her stench stank. 

Over these weeks, with the incredible help of someone who wants to remain anonymous, we began a clothing exchange for her where every two days, she washed up and changed into something fresh of her choosing since there were many options provided.  I brought her dirty clothes home and washed them.  When I took them back to her washed, dried and folded, she was noticeably shaken.  She laughed with delight in realizing that someone cared enough to do that for her.  "I care because Jesus loves you." has been my response.  Mickey's responses to this and many interactions told me that there is something unique and special about Mickey.  She began taking better care of herself and her fragrance was increasingly more along the lines of "Red Door."  

In the past fifteen hours of active searching across three days, I've heard the same sentiments from several people.  Here are a few examples:

Janine is a woman who lives in a home near the Wawa.  She looks after Mickey as best as she can.  She and I agree that there is someone special trapped inside Mickey's heart.

There is the woman on Huntington Avenue who has a sidewalk restaurant.  When I asked her if she'd seen Mickey recently, she commented on how nice Mickey is as she walks to and from the Tracks.  "She'll come to her senses some day.  God will guide her to safety." was this woman's response.

There's a woman who works at the carry out section of Applebees who has had some interaction with Mickey.  She's going to call me the moment she sees her because she knows that no young woman should be on the streets alone.

There is the friend from years ago who saw my post on facebook and told me that Mickey is "a nice girl.  She's just lost and needs some guidance."

There's the manager of the Exxon where Mickey has been asking for change more since Wawa Corporate decided to have guards chase "people like Mickey" away so as not to be an offense to customers.  He's asked Mickey to leave on sevaral occasions but has promised me that if she reappears, he will call me and allow her to stay until I arrive.

Wawa Corporate decided to kick Mickey and other homeless people off their property.  They did not break the determination of one of their employees who has noticeably and boldly befriended Mickey as long as I've known her.  Her name is "Jazz" or something like that and she gets a gold star from me for her help in providing the best lead today as to where Mickey may be!!!

And here's where God's obvious presence was in this story today.

I was having moderate success in finding little leads as to where Mickey may be.  I pulled into the same Wawa to get a snack.  The place was packed and I could not go down one aisle.  I aimed for the next isle and ran right into Jazz whose height made her invisible from where I had just been.  Knowing of her efforts with Mickey, I asked if she'd seen Mickey and she said: "No but I spoke to a ______ who told me that she's at __________ ________."  (I told you that I'm trying to maintain confidentiality and tell this true story at the same time.)

I thanked Jazz and I drove to __________ __________, twenty minutes away. I explained this whole story to the receptionist and she was very helpful - as much as she could be due to privacy rules.  "I can not deny or verify that Mickey is here at __________ __________.  

"May I pretend that she is here and write her a letter for you to pass on to whoever should get it?" I asked.

 "That's fine." was her response.  And so I wrote a letter to Mickey and gave it to the receptionist at the front desk of __________ __________.   She did suggest that I fill out a missing person's report so that the police can investigate where Mickey may be and let me know.

I made my way back to Wawa and thanked Jazz for providing the best lead for the day.  Jazz told me that she had worked in a rehab at one time and, therefore, had a heart for Mickey.  (Wawa Corporate could learn a thing or two from one of its employees!)

I went on to file a missing person's report only to be told that I did not have enough accurate information to file an official report.  The officer did say that they can maintain an extra awareness of Mickey and encourage her to call me if they see her.

Mickey may be at __________ __________ or she might not be.  She might receive my letter and choose to or not to respond.  Those are big variables, too big for my comfort.  And so, the search continues.  This is a search for Mickey and any information that helps us to move forward with finding her.

I'd like to write more but I need to prepare for my morning appointment with my service business that is funding this ministry. 



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