Climbing

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Climbing

But sometimes the mountain of failure and shame is just too big, too hard to climb, and the path is impossible to trek alone. 

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The Day My Friend Was Beaten

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The Day My Friend Was Beaten

There he was, lying unconscious in a pool of his own blood. I pushed my way through the gathered crowd, caught the eye of one of the cops, and announced, “I know this guy. I have all his information.”

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Are You My Kind of Believer?

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Are You My Kind of Believer?

One even felt like an inquisition, in which my answers were to be discussed amongst a group of “elders” who would make a determination to uninvite me from a previously scheduled event.

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Melvin's Struggle

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Melvin's Struggle

I didn’t know Melvin when he committed his original crime. I do know that he was twenty-two when he was convicted. How many of us did stupid stuff when we were young adults?

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Fear?

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Fear?

From outside the back door, we heard what sounded like a monster. Deep growling and grunting with intermittent spaces of silence. Jewel looked at me with wide, terrified eyes.

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It's Time

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It's Time

Sometimes we are unaware we are under oppression, until we come up for air. It’s an atmosphere, an energy, a tone of voice, a manner interaction.

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Hello, My Name Is . . .

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Hello, My Name Is . . .

He was filthy. Dirt and grime in every orifice. Hair matted in unintended dreadlocks. His clothing reeked of bodily fluids. Immediately it became clear that he has not been taking his medication.

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How Did We Get Here?!

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How Did We Get Here?!

“I’m really glad Trump is now our president, ‘cause he’s gonna put blacks back where they belong and kick every Muslim out of our country. He’s gonna make America great again.”

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Why I Marched

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Why I Marched

I have experienced discrimination and oppression as a woman on a daily basis my entire life. I will write more here about these experiences. I’m guessing that many men simply do not know or do not recognize our reality

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I Will Not Be Silent

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I Will Not Be Silent

They taught me that I was to “stay in my role,” that women are naive and easily deceived, and that because of my gender, I was not qualified to teach males over a certain age. *And* they taught me that all of this was God’s will for my life.

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New Girls Comin’ Home

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New Girls Comin’ Home

“This is my last chance. I don’t even know why the judge gave me another chance. I think God must have a purpose for my life. I’m so grateful for this place and for you ladies. You’re all so beautiful and so strong.” She turns to the other newbie and says to her, “You are included in those here who are beautiful and strong!”

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A Picture of Hope

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A Picture of Hope

“My daughter died recently, and my three grandchildren have just come to live with me.” I told her she could come and get presents for all three, and that the children can even come next Sunday to get a present for her. She just stood there staring at me.

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Here’s the Story:

Here’s the Story:

Another of our homeless men, grabbed my shoulder and said, “Jamie, Valley Brook does not belong to them. It belongs to God.” I cried again.

Pain, and yet Committed to Hope

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Pain, and yet Committed to Hope

The “problem” as they laid it out is that I have welcomed what they called “stray cats.” They said that when you feed stray cats, of course they will want to stay around, and they said, “We don’t want them to stay around. We don’t want them in our neighborhood.”

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Speech to Valley Brook City Council

Speech to Valley Brook City Council

Madame Mayor, members of the Council, thank you for allowing me to speak to you this evening... We have appealed to you repeatedly for meetings, for phone calls, for conversation to try to work out our differences—to seek solutions to your concerns about Joe’s.  Not a one of you has called me.

“Helping Hands” at Joe’s

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“Helping Hands” at Joe’s

A lady in our Joe’s Community created an opportunity for our regulars to share how Joe’s has been a “helping hand” to them.  Here are some of the hands that now cover the front window.

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Open Letter to Valley Brook City Council and Residents

Open Letter to Valley Brook City Council and Residents

I am writing to address the concerns that some have brought before the City Council regarding the business that I own and operate called Joe’s Addiction, and to ask you to consider not taking action to terminate our business license. If we are doing something illegal, please tell me and we will stop. If we can work together better with the city in some way, we want to do so.