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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.

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Thursday, September 2, 2021

I am an inspirational human being made in the image of God and I am worthy of dignity, honor, respect and love.

Yesterday, as I was visiting the wonderful people on the streets of Kensington, within an hour and a half of my 2.5-hour visit,[1] I had distributed 60[2] 'song sheets' and was starting to tap into the next batch originally printed for my next visit.  These 8.5"x5.5" pieces of paper are at the core of why I do what I do in Kensington.

These song sheets have evolved over the three or so years that I've been sharing them.  Somewhere at the beginning of their development, I started to include a text block as follows: 

When I first started doing so, a few people smiled and agreed with the statement.  Others cried and said that this is 'not true at all.'  I simply asked each person to memorize this simple phrase and tell themselves this every hour of every day. 

I've also told them that it's true even on days when they don't believe it.  And I've added that even though I'm the guy who is handing out these song sheets, there are days when I don't believe it of myself and yet it remains true.


About a month ago, one of the ladies who live on the street told me as I was handing her my most recent song sheet the following:

"I memorized this to the point where I could say it very easily.  I was 'doing a date'[3] that was going bad very quickly.[4]  I stopped the guy, told him that 'I am an inspirational human being made in the image of God and I am worthy of dignity, honor, respect and love.' He stopped what he was doing and I got out of his car."[5]

I've shared this short story with nearly every woman[6] who has accepted a song sheet since that day.  The response has been incredible for a couple of reasons that have been pointed out to me.

  • It honestly acknowledges, without judgment, that this woman funds her medicinal needs by 'doing dates.'
  • It lifts her up as the child of God who she in absolute fact is.  That 'Child of God' status is far bigger and far more blessing filled than her role[7] as 'doer of dates', a role that she is in ONLY to financially support an addiction that she would rather not have.

 I am an inspirational human being 

made in the image of God 

and I am worthy of 

dignity, honor, respect and love.

[1] Before needing to leave for my 3-11 shift as a driver at Recovery Centers of America

[2] The typical number that I've prepared since the beginning of doing this…

[3] This is the phrase used in place of the words 'engaged in prostitution' and similar phrases.

[4] The guy was assaulting her in some way beyond whatever agreement of sexual service that had been determined to at the beginning of the 'date.'

[5] In so doing, she was walking away from her immediate source of income that would provide her with the money to buy her next dose of 'medicine.'  She was risking the onset of dope sickness and she was making it a requirement of herself to stand, once again, on her preferred street corner in hopes that some guy who she does not yet know exists will invite her into his car so as to perform an agreed-to level of sexual 'service' with at least a slight hint of 'dignity, honor, respect and love.'

[6] I've asked without judgment lots of ladies this basic question:  "What percentage of the women out here are totally reliant on doing dates to support the funding of their 'medicine.'  The typical answer is "about 90%."

[7] Hopefully temporary

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