City, homeless shelter thanked for assistance

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Editor, the News-Herald:

First off I want to take this time to thank every person that prayed for or donated time or things to me and my family. Second off, I really want to thank Terry Miller for having my family evicted from the homeless shelter. The reason I am thanking her is because if she hadn’t, I might not have found the strength in myself to fight for the things I needed for my family and for other families in the city of Suffolk. I may have stayed a little longer than I needed to and took a spot another family needed. Being at the shelter did teach me a lot. I hope those things will help me to be able to help others that may be or have been in the situation I found myself in.

I have read many of the comments that people have made in the newspapers and it’s not an easy thing to judge a situation you haven’t been in. I have learned since that there are some caring and compassionate people out there. As well as some that don’t understand how someone could let this happen to them.

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My goals now are to turn around and see how I can help others, start my own business and go forth as a minister for God.

I plan on doing workshops and seminars to help encourage others by giving them the tools that are needed to come out of their situations. It hasn’t been an easy road but it has been a rewarding road.

One thing I did learn at the shelter is you just can’t send people out without the proper tools they need to accomplish their goals. I learned the tools are different for different people. Some may need deep counseling to help heal from the scars they have gotten from all they have been through. Some may not be able to read as well as others. To me just handing them a paper and saying you must go look for five jobs today and five houses is just not fair to them. I was really blessed with finding the jobs and schooling I found.

I believe we must first prepare these people and it is going to take time, staff and money to do this. So maybe we need more than one kind of shelter in Suffolk or more than two kinds.

Or maybe some of the churches or other organizations can come forth and help with this? Sometimes people don’t want a hand out they just want a chance. I know that’s all I wanted.

I do understand it’s not finished with me yet. I still have a lot to do. I want to take the time to thank the City of Suffolk for giving me that chance. There are some people that helped that I can’t name because that’s the way they want it, but Thank You. I believe the city of Suffolk has and is showing other cities in America how to treat the homeless. For so long we have been treated like a disease, or a plague. Now I hope people are starting to see we count to.

Many homeless people are working just like everyone else. Some can’t work for different reasons. I feel if we don’t want to pay taxes to take care of these people then we must do as the old people used to tell us. If you give a man a fish you feed him for a day. But if you teach him how to fish you teach him to feed his family for life. We, each and everyone, have something we can teach others or give others.

Holly Parker