Community means joy, laughter, and rejuvenation.
Community enables a reconnection to the world and human spirits.
(Quote as narrated in video,
Security Dignity Community in
a Place Called Home at Tender Mercies.)
Schools, churches, and community groups volunteer hundreds of meals and thousands of hours to the residents of Tender Mercies. It is a supportive and transitional housing environment, located in Over-the-Rhine on 12th Street, here in inner city Cincinnati.
Last Thursday, I joined friends to share dinner with these folks. A few of my friends got together ahead of time, cooking lasagna and preparing other dinner items. I left work early that day (using “vacation time”) to meet my friends in the kitchen at Tender Mercies.
We served dinner to about sixty folks. I recognized some folks who came through our dinner line, as folks who hang out at the public library where I work.
One gentleman resident, Cleo, was already a familiar and friendly face for me. On Wednesdays, I pass through “his” street corner, where he sells the Street Vibes, a bi-monthly informative newspaper about the homelessness plight in our community.
Each Wednesday, I buy a paper from him and in return he tells me a joke.
And each Wednesday, Cleo and I exchange a big friendly hug. Thursday evening, I got another hug out of him (smile).
”Tender Mercies transforms the lives of homeless adults with mental illness by providing security, dignity, and community in a place they call home.” (Tender Mercies mission statement.)
Tender Mercies: If you are in our Cincinnati community and would like to know more; perhaps volunteer, visit Tender Mercies’ website.
Volunteer Needy: If you are in other parts of America and need a resource to point you where help is needed, this website is user friendly. It opens with a map of the United States—click on your state and from there, find out where to go and who to contact.
Link here for their directory.
Please share in the comments your community experience. What is it like for you to share a meal with those in need?
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