Come In From the Cold

Too cold to call home.

Too cold to call home.

Burr….., it is cold outside. 

According to my favorite weather forecaster, it is going to be 6 degrees when I roll out of my warm bed tomorrow morning.  “Cold and breezy with highs near 20 and wind chill values near zero.”  Thank goodness for a warm place to call home.  I count my blessings daily.

Could you imagine calling a bridge along the river home?  There is no warm bed to roll out of; instead, you shake off the snow from the thin blanket that barely covers your body.  Don’t forget to pack your belongings up in your back pack because you know if leave them, they will not be there tonight. The focus of life is survival and on days like today, the elements can be your greatest enemy.

Again, I count my blessings daily that this is not my story but it is the story of many men, women, and children in our own community.  In fact, last week I was shocked to learn that one of our Lindsey House mothers had spent many nights by the river, under a bridge.  She was separated from her daughter and deep in her addiction.  So deep, that she spent days working for a dealer doing home improvements in exchange for drugs and a little bit of cash.  At the end of her workday, drugs in hand, she would stop to purchase oil to light her lamp through the night.  This was necessary to scare away the possums.  She was so afraid of the possums that she would place the lamp close enough to her head that she would awake with a burn on her face. 

This mother has come so far since then.  With the support of Women in Recovery she has more than two years of sobriety.  Just over a year ago, she moved into Lindsey House with her daughter.  Their first night at Lindsey House was the first night in a long time that they slept under the same roof.  It doesn’t surprise me that they fell asleep in each other’s arms. 

The story of this family is inspiring.  Mom works full-time and daughter is learning what it is like to be a teenager.  Thanks to Lindsey House, they will be rolling out of a warm bed tomorrow morning.  Lindsey House provides families a place to come in from the cold.