Recently my fiancee Dusty spent some time in Louisville. No, it wasn't for Thunder. The following is his experience from his night on the streets.
Ok, so a couple of friends of mine came up with the idea to head to Louisville to spend the night as homeless people. The point really wasn't to actually be homeless...what we planned to do was meet some homeless men, donate some clothes and blankets, and gain a new perspective. I thought this was a brilliant idea.
I don't know, maybe right now you're thinking we're pretty crazy. Who in their right mind would want to leave the comfort of their own bed, the company of their friends for a night (or for one of us, their wife!?) Especially to spend their time with a bunch of bums?
I should tell you that our experience was more than a night among bums. We had the opportunity to meet a lot of really beautiful men with beautiful stories. I would beg you that the next time you find yourself being asked for money on the street, instead of dismissing that person as a degenerate, take the time to learn something about them. Sure, they may just want to buy some booze, but what they really need is love. We all make mistakes and we're certainly no better than they are. I promise that if you took just a little bit of time out of your busy life to give one of these human beings a bit of your attention you'd really learn something.
We spent about 18 hours on the streets and I can't accurately record for you here everything I learned. We shared a few meals, walked the streets, and even spent the night in a shelter on the floor in a room with about 60 other guys. Every guy we met had a story to tell. Most of them used to have great jobs, but found themselves on the streets after getting laid off. Others put themselves on the streets because of addictions, but I met many men who were honestly trying to turn their lives around and get off drugs (one man was actually leaving for rehab the Monday after our excursion). Another man I met was someone who used to be on the streets because of drug addictions, but had gotten clean, turned his life around and now was helping other men on the street also get their lives back on track.
Something I learned on the street was that there is a lot of help for the homeless in Louisville. Several guys told us how there was no reason to go hungry because there are so many organizations feeding them. This gave me some much needed hope in humanity. It's easy to look at myself and how rarely I actually look beyond myself to help another human being. Look at all the people in the world who are left out, marginalized, and disenfranchised and feel hopeless for the human race. Africa is just one example. I'm really thankful for this new perspective and new found hope in people and how selfishness is not always the motivating factor in our actions.
I guess it's really hard to summarize this experience in just one blog. Honestly, its been two weeks and I don't know if I've completely digested the experience either. I almost feel like I need to apologize for the heaviness of it all. I'm not quite the humorist Emily is so I'll leave you once more to the blog stylings of the beautiful, the wonderful, the extraordinary soon-to-be Mrs. Snyder.