Autumn has finally arrived, and with it a much needed respite from the heat for our guests. Because of your support we are able to open our gates each morning and welcome in the tired and weary as they trudge down North C Street.
As I greet our guests I take the time to look into their faces. Many look so much older than they are. Each wrinkle, each line shouts of a thousand untold stories. There are stories of love and excitement, stories of danger and great loss, stories of unimaginable pain and suffering, and stories of hope and strength.
Learning these stories is one of the most important things we do. It’s what connects us. It draws us together and builds trust. It’s one person saying to another “you are important and I’m going to take the time to understand you”.
There are so many stories and I want to share those stories with you. That’s why we created, North C Street Stories, a new website where you can read first hand accounts of the stories that take place everyday at Loaves & Fishes. Visit http://stories.sacloaves.org to start.
Let me share just one part of a story that you made possible. This is written by Ella a staff member at our Maryhouse program.
“In a moments time, tears came to her eyes, she bowed her head down with such relief, covering her face with her hands to hide the joyous tears rolling down her cheeks. Caught up in the moment she could barely speak.
“Caught off guard in this moment with a woman crying over a piece of mail, all I could think is “thank god, my co-worker is standing next to me because I’m not sure how to react, I’ve never had someone cry when I handed them their mail.” I learned an ID had much more power than I had ever thought before. She stared at her ID with such joy, she was speechless.
“An ID for our guests of all ages means an approved housing application, another piece to a job application completed, a way to get bus tickets, a way into a shelter, a means to claim their paycheck, proof of their legal name and birthday, to keep a car, to go to school, to receive social services, and a sense of identity. She came back the next day to apologize for her previous tears, stating “I’m so sorry, I was just so happy that ID means I can start my life again.””
Thank you for making it possible for our guests to start their life again. Without your help these stories would not be possible.
God Bless Always!
Sister Libby Fernandez Executive Director Loaves & Fishes
P.S. Don't forget to visit the new site, North C Street Stories and get ongoing behind the scenes stories and pictures from Loaves & Fishes.