...of the last time you encountered what seemed like a hopeless situation. Maybe it was on your way to work today, as you made eye contact with the man who approached your car for change at a busy intersection. It could’ve been the news story you heard about lack of access to food in many Atlanta neighborhoods.
Perhaps it’s difficult to relate to the people behind these stories of poverty. At Emmaus House, making personal connections is our mission. Will you join us in making a compassionate connection with the people behind those hand-painted signs and news headlines?
Meet Sam. He’s a “regular” at the Lokey Center, the direct assistance office of Emmaus House. He stops by frequently for a sandwich and a kind word. Sam is in his fifties. He’s been homeless and does not read or write. Until recently, his demeanor told a story of discouragement and defeat.
Ann Fowler, director of the Lokey Center, noticed Sam in the lobby and asked a simple question, “How can we help you?” They made a connection. “I need my ID, but you can’t help me. I’ve tried many times before,” Sam replied. To get an ID, the State of Georgia requires a birth certificate or passport, proof of a social security number, and two documents proving residency. Seems simple enough. However, when a person is homeless, once valuable pieces of paper lose their significance in the struggle for daily survival. Often they are lost or stolen. Not easily dissuaded, Ann called our volunteer attorney to obtain proof of social security. She then went with Sam to the necessary government offices.
When Sam received a copy of his birth certificate, he began to dance with joy right in the middle of the Vital Records office! “God bless you” were Sam’s words to Ann as they returned from the driver services office with his new Georgia ID in hand.
Emmaus House could’ve just given Sam a sandwich but missed the deeper need. Instead, Ann made a connection with a man who had given up hope. She asked questions and listened to the answers. She then wrapped together several available resources to help Sam navigate a complex system.
The power of connection is at the heart of Sam’s story. Emmaus House connects with our neighbors to remove barriers to success.
A sandwich, an ID, an application for food stamps, the possibility to reinstate disability benefits - the power of a compassionate guide connecting multiple services made a difference for Sam.
I invite you to join us in experiencing the power of connection – connection to remove barriers facing children, youth, and families in Peoplestown. Your gift will enable us to implement the necessary tools to serve our neighbors in a holistic way, building on the strong foundation that is Emmaus House.
Grace and peace,
Joseph D. Mole, Executive Director