Keeping Hope Alive

Just Joyce
By Just Joyce Latest Reply 2012-08-30 16:56:41 -0500
Started 2012-08-18 20:14:55 -0500

I live in a major city in an under-served community. There are people from all economic backgrounds and levels of education. The problem is we have hundreds of vacant houses, vacant lots, schools that are beginning to improve and people who because of their income have given up hope of moving up or moving out. We have now selected a developer to rehab homes that will be for sale. These houses will first be offered to people in the community wanting to buy a home and remain in the community before they are to be sold to anyone else. There are plans to start providing them help with their credit by the first of next year.

Since April of this year, I have been working with the Police Department and a collaboration of ministers and a few community members to bring the Day of Hope to our side of town. A police commander on the other side of town said we have all these churches who take from the community and never give back. He called a meeting with community leaders and the ministers of the churches and the Day of Hope was born.

The idea is to bring hope to people who seem to have lost all forms of hope by providing services that will benefit them. From April to last night it appeared the Day of Hope was totally hopeless. It was hard to get the ministers to get on the same page. This morning I was not going to participate until our Community Relations Sgt. sent me a text message asking if I was coming. I said no. Finally after several text between us I agreed to come and he sent an officer to get me.

I arrived at the field and it was a chaos of disorganization. I was frustrated until I said. You have all been praying why not pray that everyone focus on the task at hand and at least have a semblance of order. By 12:30 everything was in place and we opened the gates.

It is said that if you build it they will come. People came on crutches, in wheelchairs, on scooters and by foot. There were single moms and dads, husbands and wives with their children as well as mixed families of grandparent with their adult children and grandchildren in the same household. There was fresh produce and some canned goods for those needing food, employment information, housing assistance, energy assistance, legal advice, private and group prayer service, kids played on moon bounces, while others lined up for health screenings. We provided hope and prayer to over 1700 people in 4 hours. The longest line was for diabetes and cholesterol screenings. People thanked us and asked for additional help. We are going to plan next years event.

People came with hope and left satisfied. The hope of getting help with gas and electric, canned goods, fresh fruit and veggies, getting free hair cuts for the kids first day of school, how to find adequate housing for the family, how to write a resume and were to find a job or job training, how to keep a baby and children healthy is no longer just a hope. Today it became a reality. Those who signed in with worry left with smiles. Those who had lost hope found hope. Those who thought no one cared found that people cared about them as a person.

I don't complain about what I don't have because I know there are people on my block and community with both more and less than I have. I don't complain about being ill, not when I signed in a lady who had a stroke and struggled every step of the way to get to that field today because she needed help with food and energy assistance. A volunteer took her home. I don't complain about my house needing a new roof when a man with no roof came to find out about finding a place to live.

Today we came together as one and treated those in need as VIP's. They were guest of the churches, community and the police department and everyone left with a better opinion of their community, the churches in the community and the Officers who patrol our streets.

No matter what you may be going through, with hope it makes the road you travel much easier. I know that tonight someone isn't worrying about food for tomorrow, about finding a job or keeping their gas and electric on. When a person loses hope, I am so proud to say, we found a way to give hope to the people in this community. When you help people you know are in need without asking for anything in return help comes back to you and hope is never lost.

33 replies

Ms. DAT 2012-08-30 16:44:34 -0500 Report

This is what I really love to hear more about how the local churches who many people attend came together to show hope in operation.
I once spoke on, Hope In Progress" a few months ago about how the church need not to only reach inside the church but also outside as well because when people loose hope and no one is available to give some hope, then they choose other options. Hope is what the world need,
God Bless You and those who worked together to bring such an event together with success!!

watson4042 2012-08-21 10:19:53 -0500 Report

WOW! that is fantastic…i'm verry proud of you for standing up for the people in need. it is a shameful fact that america will help the down trodden of other countries before we even try to help our own. too many people are homeless and hungry and we need to help them before anyone else. too many times people walk or drive by an unforunate person standing on the street corner. everyone assumes that they are druggies or wino's. they might not be. if you don't want to hand them some cash..ok, go buy them a burger, or get something for their animal if they have one. we can all help a little if we would but try. you know what; we send stuff to our soldiers over seas that include ready to eat meals, hand wipes, etc. why not have such a box in our car to give to a homeless person? sounds like a good idea to me and i believe i'll get one started today. anyone wish to join that idea?

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-08-21 19:14:31 -0500 Report

Watson it was a beautiful event. There is a guy who lives under a highway bridge near my house. He lived there for two years before a homeless organization got him a place to live. I have given him a dollar here and there and cigarettes. He is very polite and very clean. Everyone thinks he has an obsessive compulsion disorder. He had a mattress with sheets and blanket that he somehow washed. His bed was made up, his clothing folded and his shoes lined up in a row. He was gone for about a year before he came back.

You are correct not all homeless people are drug addicts or wino's. Some are truly homeless while others aren't. There was an older couple who were professional beggars and lived in a quarter of a million dollar condo at the Harbor.

I love the idea of a box for the homeless. You could include personal items and a blanket with cans of food with pop tops. You could probably write to Proctor Gamble and they will send you boxes of samples. We have Catholic Charities, several soup kitchens and several homeless organizations who work with the homeless. Every little bit helps.

dietcherry 2012-08-20 20:34:45 -0500 Report

It does my heart good to read this Joyce. This is similar to what I imagine Ellis Island was like when my great-grandparents came over; they were homeless and hungry when they arrived and others came to their aid. Its crummy to me that so many of our citizens have been reduced to living without in this recession. Lets all pray for the downtrodden among us——-theyre closer than we think. It feels like a new wave of immigrants only theyve lived here all their lives :(

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-08-21 19:19:46 -0500 Report

I agree it is like a new wave of immigrants. Even though my community and parts of the city look like a bomb hit it with vacant crumbling houses, people stay and do what they can to survive. We use to have a drug dealer on our corner until I worked with the police to get rid of him who use to feed a drug addicts daughter every day. He made sure she had money for school lunch and something to eat for dinner until her mother cleaned up her act. There are thousands of children in every city in this country who live with addicted parents, who go to bed hungry and cold and sleep in vacant houses and this should not happen even when parents aren't on drugs. People need help and there should come a time when everyone should look out for their fellow man.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2012-08-20 17:31:14 -0500 Report


What an inceredible stury. What an amazing opportunity foryou to make a difference in the lives of people who are in need. I really appreciate having the opportunity to read about about what you all were able to accomplish.

Thank you!


Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-08-20 18:49:19 -0500 Report

Thank you Dr. Gary, this had to be by far the worse event I had ever been a part of throughout the entire process. Ministers were not listening to each or the community. When a minister quoted a Health Department report based on community needs, I told the police officer beside me to get ready to cart me off to jail because what I am about to say will not be nice. The report was a typical government report that said communities need better heath care, housing and education. I said to the minister that he should be ashamed of himself. That report is generic and is not based on the actual needs of the people. I said the people need, information for their kids on how to keep them out of gangs, how to identify gangs, information on getting criminal records expunged, victims assistance, domestic violence information to name a few. They asked me how I would know this. My response was I live here and I talk to the people and if you were any kind of minister, you would be ministering to the people on the street and you would know this. However, I am so glad this event came together with people getting the help they need and resources for help they may need in the future. Hopefully, next year will be bigger and better for the community. We start the planning sessions in January next year.

MAYS 2012-08-20 19:04:00 -0500 Report

A little of your time gave a lot of people hope and that can never be measured for what it's worth, knowing that you may have made someones life a little easier is priceless!

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-08-20 19:16:55 -0500 Report

Mays time is just a few minutes and hours that turn into days and weeks. Giving time to help someone is a virtue I think. Unfortunately, there are not enough people willing to give up an hour or two a week to help others and that is sad.

MAYS 2012-08-20 19:46:01 -0500 Report

I applaud you for what you do to help others, and I agree with you, we need others to help those who are in need of help!
I would like to say "Thank you" on behalf of those that you have helped and will continue to help in the future…"Thank you".

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-08-21 12:03:13 -0500 Report

Thank You. Mays there was a lady here in the city who took lottery winnings and fed 100 people for Thanksgiving. She started a non profit and every Thanksgiving people donated food. People got a hot meal, clothing and a bag of food to take home. Prior to her death, she fed over a million people. It was so big, she had to move to a schools huge parking lot. Prisoner's volunteered to prepare most of the food but the prison had issue with it. The prisoners fought back and won. Their point was they were giving back to people whose communities they had committed crimes and to people who really needed help. They still have the event every year.

People have to help others up the ladder instead of turning and kicking them off. The same people you pass going up the ladder are the same ones you pass on your trip back down the ladder. You never know when the time will come when you need help. Helping others brings help back to you when you least expect it.

Thank you for all your articles. People benefit from them and you have a lot to share. Bless you

MAYS 2012-08-21 12:16:03 -0500 Report

Her blessings came in the feeling that she felt knowing that she helped those who were not in a position at that time to help themselves.
She did it out of the kindness of her heart and her reward has no measure.
That was truly an act of kindness that will not be forgotten by the recipients of it.
You have, and are part of a very wonderful group of people, may you all be blessed for that which you do!

Bless you, and them!

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-08-19 20:26:07 -0500 Report

I was not going to attend. I had been in meetings with the ministers and the egos were more than I could take. The police commander for my district and I tried to get dates for the prayer walks. It took from April to June to get them. The last meeting was last Thursday and it was a mess. A lot had not be done and they were like chickens with their heads cut off.

Yesterday morning my phone started buzzing with text messages at 7am. I was getting ready to go to the Flea Market to open shop. One message was from our Community Relations Sgt. He was worried that something was really wrong that I would not come. I said it is going to be a mess and I call UNCLE. Then I realized the officers in that division and the commander are always there for me. I had to be there for them also. So the Sgt. sent and officer to get me.

I had two moments that nearly broke my heart. A senior citizen who clearly had a stroke and struggled with walking had been standing in line waiting to be registered. When she got to me I filled out her paper work for her. She had a problem with speech so I patiently helped her. She was exhausted so I had an officer get her a chair so she could sit. She needed food. She slowly made her way to distribution and got her food and someone I think someone drove her home.

Then I saw a young mother in distress. I asked her what was wrong and she said she had bought school clothing for her two sons but had no money for school supplies or haircuts. I told her there was no one with school supplies on the field and she started crying. I got an officer to bring me some water for her and got her calmed down and told her about a community a block from her giving out school supplies and to be there early. To go home get her sons and bring them back for free haircuts. She said that she truly felt blessed.

tabby9146 2012-08-19 16:59:40 -0500 Report

Thanks for sharing that, what a wonderful thing you and all the others did. I love helping with things like that in my community as much as I can, sometimes through my church, other times just through my city. It feels so good to help others and I can tell how much that means to you and what a giving person you are.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-08-21 11:57:30 -0500 Report

Tabby far too often people suffer in silence. Their pride prevents them from asking for help. Some ask for help and feel ashamed for asking. When I worked at a school the church up from the school came with fliers to give to the kids about a free Thanksgiving Dinner for those in need. The Monday after Thanksgiving, the ladies returned saying no one came to dinner and wanted to know if we gave the kids the fliers. The Parent Coordinator said all of the kids got a flier and the reason no one came was because this group of snobby women treated the people who had come the previous year so bad the word on the street was people would never come back. They claimed to be good Christians. I told the women I can't stand anyone who has to say they are good Christians for the simple reason your actions would prove it. If you make people feel like nothing when you are providing a service to them then it is obvious that you are not good Christians because a good Christian would welcome them and not belittle them. It took the church two years to recover from that and another two years before people came back.

I can't stand the so called "do gooders" who think that because they donated their unwanted clothing to a homeless shelter they have done something. They come to meetings and brag about their good deed and I asked did you stay and help the shelter prepare or serve a meal, help someone find a job. One woman told me she would never do that and they should be lucky she gave them her expensive clothes. I told her she should be quiet before I threw my $2.00 flip flops at her.

tabby9146 2012-08-21 19:07:03 -0500 Report

yes it is sad indeed and I"ve known many like that. Yes, their pride does prevent them from asking for help. Shame on anyone who treated them bad the previous year. yes a good Christian would be nicer and welcome them and really truly be interested in them and want to help. There are those that do it for attention, like you said also. When I think of those who are so selfless and do so much to help others, I think of my late father, who was a pharmacist and all the things he did, letting people charge that he knew could not afford the medicine, and he never even pushed hard to get them to ever pay for it, when he died my mother never tried to get all the money they were owed, that is how she is. He often got up in the middle of the night to go to the drug store to help someone who was sick that he knew really needed the medicine. He was active in the church , always helping, clubs and other organizations he belonged to, and the whole town and nearby towns, thought the world of him. He liked to quietly help and never bragged, never wanted any attention for it. He counseled people on their medications all the time. He set the best examples for me.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-08-21 19:27:10 -0500 Report

Your father was the prime example of a good christian. Today people are selfish and think only of themselves and what they can get. I have a neighbor whose son wants to play on the communities football league. She asked me if the community would pay for his equipment. I said no. She just asked me today where she could get free school supplies I told her I don't know. The truth is there are two school supply give away's in the community. This woman can afford to pay for his equipment and his school supplies but she is always trying to get a free hand out and I will never tell her where she can get anything free because she is taking away from the people who are truly in need. This woman goes to bingo 2-3 times a week and spends a couple hundred dollars yet balks at paying for things for her son except for clothing. She complains because he eats too much. I told her she should be ashamed of herself for being the way she is. These kinds of people really get on my last working nerve.

tabby9146 2012-08-22 14:10:42 -0500 Report

yes, they get on my too! sometimes when I find myself getting too angry at someone, mostly on the inside, not so much that I show it on the outside, but sometimes I do, I just have to think of daddy and how he was, I never ever saw him get really angry with anyone ,thats the truth, never heard him say a bad word about anyone ,I rarely do, but there have been times when I was so mad , when someone had really done me wrong, so I just strive to do all the right things and to please God.

jayabee52 2012-08-22 20:27:53 -0500 Report

MAYBE yours can. Get involved with organizing a program like that with others in trying to get it going. Perhaps someone (like Joyce) could suggest how to go about it.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-08-22 20:57:13 -0500 Report

James to do this you need churches to work together, the police department, community leaders and because the church is a non profit, you can ask for donations. People will donate if they can write it off. You also will need to know where to find all kinds of resources such as hospitals for health screenings, and organizations that provide a service to the people.

You also have to know what services are needed and to find that out the churches must go out into the community and talk to the people and invite community leaders in to help get the services. Our goal was to bring the churches, community and police department together to help the community.

My city is big on community policing and many of the officers interact with the community by attending community functions, participating in Citizen on Patrol Groups, attending community meetings. We also have a Police Community Relations Council which is a board with a President, VP, Secretary and Treasurer. Some has functioning committees. The President has to attend quarterly meetings with the Police Commissioner, work closely with the commander in their district as well as their community relations Sgt. and his/her officers. As President I have graduated from the Civilian Police Academy, attended inservice classes with officers, talked to cadets at the academy, had weapons training to learn about the weapons the officers use and some of their less lethal training such as hand to hand combat.

Our event not only provided services to the people but gave them the opportunity to meet officers who patrol their streets and to see that no matter who you are there is someone out there who cares about you.

tabby9146 2012-08-22 14:10:42 -0500 Report

yes, they get on my too! sometimes when I find myself getting too angry at someone, mostly on the inside, not so much that I show it on the outside, but sometimes I do, I just have to think of daddy and how he was, I never ever saw him get really angry with anyone ,thats the truth, never heard him say a bad word about anyone ,I rarely do, but there have been times when I was so mad , when someone had really done me wrong, so I just strive to do all the right things and to please God.

Set apart
Set apart 2012-08-19 07:47:47 -0500 Report

Just Joyce, this is beautiful, so glad you're there to help all of these people! This sounds like it was such a great experience for both you and the individuals which lives you have touched! I don't complain either, I see so much with my work. My latest is a 3 week newborn with prenatal drug exposure born with EVERYTHING bad in her system! Mom left her at the hospital and is MIA! Do I have a reason to complain, NO I work with families like these and try to give them hope or at least that they will see a dim light at the end of the tunnel!

Thank you! Hugs!

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-08-22 21:11:39 -0500 Report

Set sometimes a dim light is all a person needs to get them out of the tunnel. While others may see that light but fear what is on the other side. When you feel you have been beaten down and either forgotten or thrown away by society, it is hard to accept the fact that you are not walking into a trap by walking down the tunnel into the light

People need help and I am now glad that I was a part of this and can't wait for the planning of next years event. I am sure it will be a success because we now know what is needed that wasn't there and how we can expand it.

CJ55 2012-08-18 23:37:18 -0500 Report

What a truly wonderful thing you are doing. So many loose hope and think there is no light at the end of the tunnel. What you and others did today for your community was heart warming. I would like to commend you and say thank you. Your efforts will be reward one day. Many hugs, and God Bless. \U+127803 CJ

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-08-19 20:35:46 -0500 Report

Thanks CJ. Yes people do lose hope but people will not help those in need. What really ticks me off are the people throughout the community who hate the police. There are officers who mentor boys and girls. These officers do it because they care about the kids. They also use their own money to take the kids to an amusement park, to a movie and these officers ask for nothing. We also have Shop With A Cop at Christmas The kids get $100.00 to spend on gifts or on themselves for the holiday.

To often people get caught up in themselves and look down on everyone else. When they need help, they find no one is there for them.

MAYS 2012-08-18 23:20:45 -0500 Report

Well said!
Keep doing the good work that you are doing.
I see this where ever I travel, when ever I am at the hospital and as I walk the streets of the various cities that I frequently visit.

It's a good thing when someone (such as yourself) who can help out, will help out, I applaud you for all that you have done and will continue to do as the "caretaker of hope" without hope, we as humans will slowly lose our desire to survive on a daily basis.

I would like to say "Thank You" for breathing life back into the lives of those whom you come into contact with in the form of hope, by doing so you make not only tomorrow, but also the thought of it worthwhile.

And for those in the need of help, that can be a good thing, a very good thing!
Joyce, Hugs and Peace unto you, for all that you aspire to do.


Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-08-19 21:00:47 -0500 Report

Thanks Mays. One never knows when they may need help. I have a friend who worked to start a homeless shelter for teens. We see the homeless teens all the time. They walk around with heavy backpacks during school hours trying not to be noticed.

I watched every episode of The Wire. In one segment a kid went home from school to find his dysfunctional family had moved. He had nothing and no one to help him. People viewed the show and didn't realize that much of what was shown was based on fact. People need help and that is a fact of life these days.

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