This blog is my public diary of experiences that I've had as I become increasingly involved in the area of Kensington, Pa. I am including experiences that I am having as I sit down, one on one, with homeless people who are dealing with Substance Use Disorder.
All Names have been changed and, occasionally, I share a story using the opposite pronoun (he/she him/her), as an additional way to assure privacy.
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.
Throughout this blog you are now seeing advertising. I need to provide this so as to keep going financially with this ministry. If you see something that is inappropriate to this site, please let me know - maybe get a screen shot of it for me. I do get credit for any "click" that you might make on any of the ads. If you're bored some night and want to help me raise some needed cash, visit my site and click away to your heart's content....
·Philia is the type of intimate non-sexual love most people practice toward each
other. This Greek term describes the powerful emotional bond seen in deep
friendships. It conveys a
strong feeling of attraction.
·Delphia: a girl's name meaning "the
oWomb: a place where something is conceived and nurtured and that offers protectionand shelter.
oConceived: to form an idea or concept of
something in your mind… to think up something such as a plan or an invention
that could be put into action… to produce something from the mind such as an
oNurtured: to give tender care and protection to a young child, animal,
or plant, helping it to grow and develop… to encourage somebody or something to
grow, develop, thrive, and be successful
oProtection: the act of preventing
somebody or something from being harmed or damaged, or the state of being kept
oShelter: a structure or building
that provides cover from weather or protection against danger… an establishment
providing temporary accommodations and food for people in need or without a
·Philadelphia: The birthplace within our
nation conceived and intended to nurture protection and shelter and so much
more in a spirit of deep friendship and attraction.
City: an urban area where a large
number of people live and work
BrotheryLove: showing feelings that a brother
might be expected to have toward his sibling
comes to boxing, I'm thankful to Jerry Lewis for providing this perfect
impersonation nine years before I was born of me being a boxer in a boxing
Christmas, as she sat in my car, Rose asked me to close my eyes.I did so.She reached around my neck and clasped a man's boxing glove pendant necklace
on me.As she did so, she said
"Thanks, 'Dad' for fighting for me."
days later, a coworker at Recovery Centers of America in Devon and I were
discussing Kensington as he remembered it from his childhood days and growing
up there.He reminded me of how
"Rocky" was filmed in many locations around there.As a Jerry Lewis-style boxer myself, I think
I had repressed those thoughts of a Rocky-style boxer having filmed some silly
inconsequential movie series
in my area of attempted service.
days after this conversation with my co-worker, I had professional interaction
with a man bearing the name of a famous boxer from somewhere in our nation's
Why is my decade starting with a boxing theme?
I've come to
love the men and women who find themselves living on the streets of Kensington
due to being in their addicted phase of Substance Use Disorder.Theirs/Yours is a boxing match like no
other.By her Savior's planned journey
for Rose, she introduced this boxing theme to me.My co-worker fine-tuned it and now I
introduce it to you…
Rocky and You: an inspirational human being made
in the image of God who is worthy of dignity, honor, respect and love and who
carries the diagnosis of and dealing with the consequences of Substance Use
You are in a boxing match!The national champion of death and
destruction whose name is "Substance Use Disorder" is devouring thousands of its
opponents each and every year.Thousands
of people are permanently "knocked out" with Substance Use Disorder's
world-famous death punch.Other boxing opponents
of Substance Use Disorder, First responders, and others step in as referees to
administer Narcan and save hundreds of Substance Use Disorder's opponents. From
Substance Use Disorder's perspective, you are just one more ready to be permanently
knocked out by this seemingly unstoppable presence in your life.
Rocky was an
insignificant bro on the streets of Kensington.He loved little animals and he had his eye on a homely pet shop employee
named Adrienne.He tried to make a
living by boxing and extracting money from people who owed others.
One day, an
odd set of circumstances rolled his direction and he found himself being
offered the opportunity to box with the current national boxing champion.Lots of self-doubts convinced him that he
could not do it.Adrienne, now his girlfriend, always stuck by him while allowing him to make the decisions for his
life.When he doubted, she didn't
disagree.She supported his thinking
Rocky decided it was time to train his body and prepare to box this national
champion.He wakes up early on this
morning of decision, drinks six raw eggs steps out his front door, stretches and
sets off on his first run in training to box the national champion.He had no idea whether he could or could not
beat this internationally known opponent but he decided to try.
As he steps
out of the door of his rented home and starts to run down his home street, it's
dark and dingy.No one notices.He just starts to run all by himself.As he runs, light begins to shine.In time, he makes that famous run up the
steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum.
first run out of his rented home and that run up the steps, he pounds on
punching bags, raw meat and an occasional actual human opponent in a boxing
If you so
choose, in your training for taking on your opponent, the national champion of
death and destruction, "Substance Use Disorder", through professional
counseling, you will (metaphorically) punch the stuffing out of a punching bag
as you recall the heartbreaks and violations of so many against your soul.You will beat the tar out of raw meat as you
recall your biological father refering to you as such as he had his way with
If you so
choose, when "Substance Use Disorder," this national champion of
death and destruction, tries to box you back into relapse, through the training
that you've done thus far and with the support of trusted friends, you will beat
your living opponent into submission as you refuse to be defeated in your
conquest toward your new life.
closing of Emerald City about a year ago, I've been focusing my visiting
efforts in the area of Kensington Avenue and Somerset Street.I often park on Ruth Street at Somerset Street.Whenever I park on Ruth Street, when it's
time to leave, I drive to the end of the block and turn right.I've noticed this house on the end of the
block that has a large open field next to it.I've often thought that if I ever moved to Kensington, I would like to
live in that house.It's close to the
action and has enough open space to satisfy my soul.As it turns out, this house that I've admired
for the past year is Rocky's rented home.The people who I visit, some of whom read these blogs, can be found
living on the street on the opposite side of this same square block.
In this movie written by and starring Sylvester Stallone, he determines to try to
defeat his opponent.He leaves his rented
home at 1818 Tusculum Street and jogs unnoticed into the darkness.When he gets to Kensington Avenue, he turns
right and then out of camera view.This
first run would have taken him right through the east coast center of what is now Substance
Use Disorder's boxing ring, the intersection of Kensington and Somerset.
his decision on Tusculum Street to try to beat his opponent as he was living in
his rented home.I encourage all of you
who know this boxing ring to consider taking the challenge of setting off on
your training.Rocky did not know when
he ran down Tusculum if he would succeed but he determined to try.It will be hard and you can do it!You
can determine to try.