Ricky is one of those guys that you somehow can’t help but like. He laughs easy, has a kind word for everyone and is the type of guy who would give you the shirt off his back if you asked for it - unfortunately sometimes that kindness gets him in trouble while living on the streets. I can’t tell you how many times his kindness has led Ricky into having to replace his phone. He blames no one but himself every time. He gets back up, dusts himself off and starts over again. His strength in resilience is amazing and beautiful. Ricky shared with us that he is a brave survivor of a suicide attempt and this was the reason for his last round with homelessness. He says that it was his last attempt ever and, “Being homeless sucks. That is all I can say about it. It just sucks.”
In the time that we have known him, the positive constants for Ricky has been his love for drawing and playing music. His fascination with the piano at the REACH Center has in his own words “saved his life”. He will be the first to tell you that he can’t play it, but that doesn’t stop him from finding peaceful Zen moments for himself while beautifully plinking away at it. We are grateful to know Ricky. He is an inspiration with his positive attitude and constant wise cracks that keep us smiling. Ricky has been working hard on getting his own place and it sounds like it is coming together for him finally. So, we want to tell him that we hope to see less of him soon, you know, in that wise-crack good sort of way! Ricky, we are so proud of you! May your new place be comfortable and full of the peaceful music and good vibes you have brought around the Center’s piano. Way to persevere!
~ Adam & Ren
We bumped into Deborah over the lasagna lunch at the Live Love Center this week. She is a sweet lady who is surviving with her 3 kitties in her van with a smile. She has children and grandchildren up in Alaska that are growing up fast, but she is uncertain when everything will come together to be able to make that trip a safe one back for her. Meanwhile, she is out enjoying the sunny spring weather that our area has been experiencing, and I don't blame her! It was nice to soak up the smiles and conversation that was happening around us on a beautiful Spring day. We enjoyed Deborah's positive attitude as she made her connections with friendly faces and resources that will keep her going through the rest of the week. We know that attitude will keep her going in good directions!
Shout out to the volunteers at The Live Love Center on Andresen who put on a lovely Wednesday Lunch at that offers positive connections, meals and food boxes for Vancouver's homeless and low-income folks. You guys are awesome!
~ Adam & Ren
Meet The Shower Outreach Project!
Battle Ground City Councilor Cherish DesRochers, Community Service Northwest Case Manager Jamie Spinelli, and their non-profit group Food with Friends are working hard along with some other committed advocates such as Chuck Goneau - and they are all doing something really needed in our community right now. They are bringing showers to our homeless on the street.
Accessible showers are at a bare minimum here in Vancouver, Wa. for our homeless. The showers at the local shelter house closed due to building issues and it has made getting a full-body clean almost impossible. The Shower Outreach Project is meeting that need head on. They worked hard to put together a specialized trailer that has two showers with changing rooms attached. The water is heated via two propane tanks and the access point can hook directly to a hose. And oooh man! The warm water feels good! -- and they share these lovely showers with our friends on the street, for no charge. They know that being clean means having the opportunity to be healthy or perhaps being ready for a connection that could bring work or stability. Either way, they are helping people on the streets GET A SHOWER AND FEEL BETTER
~ Adam & Ren