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Up Close Video Series – “Little Weazle”

October 22, 2010 | By | No Comments

“Weazle” shares his story of living on the streets from age 11.

Jenn’s Story (video)

May 26, 2010 | By | No Comments

Jenn’s story of how she ended up on the streets. Thanks for sharing your story Jenn! We love you and are so proud of who you are.

Tonya’s Story (video)

April 7, 2010 | By | No Comments

Tonya shares her story of life on the streets from the age of 13.

I’m Ready…

April 5, 2010 | By | No Comments

by zach smith

When I first met “Sarah”, she was eight months pregnant, living on the streets, helplessly addicted to heroin and cocaine, discarded, and let down by everyone in her life who was supposed to love her most. Now, nearly two years later, not a day goes by that I am not haunted by her story. Not a day goes by that my heart does not ache for her. Not a day goes by that I am not overwhelmed with love for who she is and hope for what she could be.

This afternoon I ate a quick lunch and headed downtown. I asked God to open my eyes to see people and places with love and compassion. I prayed that God would let me find Sarah.

As I walked the streets, my mind wandered to the previous day. It was a hard day. I had spent hours looking for several friends, including Sarah, to no avail. I finally turned around and went back to the office close to 4:00. Less than an hour later, on my way home, I drove past Sarah’s usual spot – the crack block – for another look. I saw her there, stumbling back and forth, weighing what had to have been 20 pounds less than when I saw her last. She looked awful. The hardest thing I did that day; the hardest thing I ever do, is watch her disappear out of sight in my rearview mirror.

But this was a new day, and I set out to find her. I walked for a long time up and down the blocks that have become very familiar to me. I decided to walk to her usual corner just to see if she was there. I immediately recognized her from a distance. Her blond hair was tied up, and her clothes were dirty and hanging loosely from her shrunken frame. Scars and sores freckled her face and arms, signs of the HIV that poisons her and the addiction that holds her captive. She was smoking heroin, an improvement in her eyes, from shooting the toxin intravenously. She was surrounded by fellow addicts. There was no way I could get to her. I walked slowly by, hoping that she would see me, but she didn’t. As I walked away, feeling like a coward, I prayed that God would send her to me. ‘That is the only way this is going to work, Lord. I can’t get to her, so send her to me.’ I prayed this over and over as I walked back towards the 16th Street Mall. I found a couple of other kids and spent some time with them. But I couldn’t shake the feeling that there was still a chance to talk to Sarah today. We had been looking for her for so long and I had finally found her. I began to summon the courage to go back to the block. This could be my only chance to see her. I had to try.

I walked the seven blocks as fast as I could, knowing that every second counted. It was getting late in the afternoon and I didn’t know when she was going to leave. For all I knew, she had already gone on and I had missed my chance. I neared the block and saw her. I hadn’t stopped praying that God would make something happen. I decided to wait on the corner opposite from where she was standing. She still didn’t see me and again I prayed that God would send her my way. A minute or two passed. Nothing happened. But then, she restlessly stood up. Before I knew it, she was walking my direction on the opposite side of the street. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Here I was, praying that God would make it work out; that He would send her to me, and that is exactly what happened.

I quietly spoke her name as she got closer to where I stood. She looked up, confused at first, and then melted into tears and shame. Other times when we see her, she will run to us with open arms, half smiling and half crying. Today was different. I had never seen her look so defeated; so broken. She hung her head and hid her face in her hands as she walked towards me and into my arms. Her shoulders shook as she cried. She didn’t even try to stifle it.

Through sobs she told me that she just wanted to make us proud and that she was sorry and ashamed that I had to see her so strung out. Of course, this was just an opportunity for me to tell her that, though it breaks my heart to see her like this, I, and everyone else at Dry Bones, love her no matter what she’s doing. She told me that her family had given up on her and that she hadn’t talked to them in over a year. She said that she had no friends on the streets anymore. She spends her days among a sea of faces, in a crowd that couldn’t care less about her.

I got to tell her that God has a better plan, and that He desperately loves her. She talked for a few minutes about how much she wanted God in her life. She said that she just can’t, and doesn’t want to, live without Him anymore. As we talked, sitting there on the sidewalk, she simply couldn’t stop crying. With every word of love that God gave me to give to her, she broke down more. I told her how much I loved her and that the other Dry Bones staff loved her too. Then she said those magic words, “I’m ready to get out of here.”

What Does Dry Bones Mean to You? (video)

February 2, 2010 | By | No Comments

Thoughts from a few friends when asked, “What does Dry Bones mean to you?”

As our friends say some really nice things in this video, we instantly think of their impact on our lives! =The awesome impact of an “Us” environment. Our lives are changed (…and changing) forever because of this thing called Dry Bones.

Mickey’s Story (video)

November 11, 2009 | By | No Comments

Mickey lived on the streets from age 14 and is now clean off of heroin and is living off the streets. Mickey shares a part of his life’s story with the world.

Street-views (2)

August 10, 2009 | By | No Comments

Interviews with Caitlyn, Angelina, Gremlin, Jess, Elizabeth, Kaili, Solomon, Cowboy, Dealy, Tamika, and Eddie

WHEN IN LIFE DO YOU FEEL MOST “IN CONTROL?”

Caitlyn: When I know exactly what’s happening. When I know I have a place to eat, and when I know I have something to eat.

Angelina: When I’m doing the dishes (laughing). Because when I’m done, they are done. I choose if the water is hot or cold.

Gremlin: Behind the wheel of a car. I’ve been driving them since I was 12 and I like to race.

Jess: When I’m not in a bad mood.

Elizabeth: When I’m having fun. When you are having fun, you do what you want to do. Like I’m having fun right now at bowling…so I’m in control.

Kaili: When I’m in a good mood.

Solomon: Most of the time, just about anywhere.

Cowboy: When I’m horse back riding because I have a connection with the horse.

Dealy: All the time…I have to be doing my plans all the time.

Tamika: When I’m in a good mood.

Eddie: When I’m upset and I have my anger under control, but I’m not blowing up. When I’m at work and I get to make my own decisions.

WHEN IN LIFE DO YOU FEEL MOST “OUT OF CONTROL?”

Caitlyn: When I’m on the streets. Absolutely nothing is in your control. You never know what’s going to happen day to day.

Angelina: When I’m high and depressed….when I stop caring.

Grimlin: In a relationship because it’s not my life to control, it’s ours. I don’t have full control.

Jess: Depression. I get depressed on holidays and my birthday.

Elizabeth: When I’m in a bad mood or things don’t go like I want them to.

Kaili: When I’m angry and aggravated…I feel like I want to punch someone in the face.

Solomon: When I’m working – You have bosses and people above you!

Cowboy: When I’m in the middle of the city…I’m not in my natural environment.

Dealy: When my plans don’t go my way.

Tamika: When I feel peer pressure.

Eddie: When I get stressed out or family leaves.

WHAT DO YOU CONTROL IN YOUR LIFE?

Caitlyn: I honestly don’t know what I control. I don’t even control myself when I’m off my meds.

Angelina: How many cigarettes I smoke (laughing). That’s about it. I don’t control much. It’s a good thing I’m not a control freak.

Grimlin: Whether or not I’m still alive. I have complete control if I kill myself…whether or not I take a drug that I know will kill me…whether or not I mess with someone who will kill me.

Jess: My family. By helping them out with stuff. I try to make sure that everything’s O.K.

Elizabeth: The way I feel and the way I do things. I do things in my own perspective, not just how people want me to do it.

Kaili: My little sister (laughing)….I don’t know.

Solomon: What I want to do, what I don’t want to do.

Cowboy: My destiny. Everybody makes choices in life, and the choices we make lead to who we become.

Dealy: My anger, money situations, food situation, shelter.

Tamika: Everything.

Eddie: My mind, my thoughts.

WHAT CAUSES YOUR LIFE TO GO OUT OF CONTROL (assuming you’ve felt out of control before)?

Caitlyn: Going off my meds.

Angelina: My depression. When I start self-medicating. Loneliness causes my depression.

Grimlin: Living in a meth-house because I had meth handed to me all day long….I didn’t say “no”.

Jess: People I’m close to passing away.

Elizabeth: My bipolarness sets me out of control. If I’m trying to do something and it doesn’t go my way, it flips my switch.

Kaili: When someone lays hands on me. I can’t control myself.

Solomon: Drama usually. When people make up stories or threaten to destroy something you love.

Cowboy: Myself. We have the choice to let people affect us or not affect us.

Dealy: Me…I’ll keep it at that!

Tamika: When people want you to do drugs.

Eddie: Drugs and alcohol. I was a major druggy. I’ve lost a good job, almost my license to doing drugs. I’ve been sober for almost 4 months.