Last week I had the privilege of being in the DHT HQ in Wheat Ridge for five days interviewing and speaking to the many Barn-A-Bus riders and 72 Hour Fund clients. There was Willy (all names have been changed) who was homeless and without good shoes. He was dirty, smelled like he could use a shower and had the ghost of desperation in his eyes. When he was shown the clothes room and understood that there was not charge, he winced and stood a little straighter. 72 Hour Fund was able to be the face and hands of Jesus with new shoes, clothes a backpack filled with hygiene items. Bus tokens and a winter coat. He refused a housing voucher, saying he preferred living rough.
Priscilla, only a month out of prison, was wary as she stepped inside our offices. She was emerging from a world where no one shared anything without exacting a big price, so she was understandably skeptical. But our staff made her feel accepted and loved, without judgment. She brightened and wandered through the clothes room, looking for dressy clothes in which she might be interviewed for a new job. Her eyes filled with tears as she gazed at the racks of women’s clothes, belts, shoes, and winter coats available to her for FREE. She found an outfit that gave her confidence, as well as casual clothes and a coat to shield her from the coming winter in Colorado. We pray that she will use these to get a good job and stay out of prison.
We had a visit from Luis and Amanda who ride the Barn-A-Bus to see their son inside a prison over 200 miles away. They cried when I asked them what they would do without BAB. They simply said they could not afford the cost of a drive, and at 75 years old, did not have the stamina for such a long round trip journey. One other mother, named Miranda, broke into sobs as she described the heartache of having three of her sons in prison, one for 30 years.
We are on track to serve over 1,500 women and men through 72 Hour Fund and 2,000 riders on Barn-a-Bus in 2014. Thank you for walking along side us and these people who are the sheep Jesus refers to in Matthew 25.
Together in HIS Service,