Updated: May 25
"Just a place to lay my head."
I saw Ronda for the first time one early morning, sleeping on the sidewalk in front of a Good Will Store. I let her sleep, leaving a "Ready for a change" card on top of her empty shoes. She responded the next day calling me and inquiring of how she could get some help. One of the her first statements was "I'm disabled and can't work", and "I don't want to be in a program!" I choose not respond on the phone to that and I set up an appointment for us to meet. I made every effort to get to her as-soon-as possible (while the iron was hot), because most of the time in a homeless persons life things can change pretty rapidly and usually not for the better.
We met the next day outside a restaurant which was only allowing pick-up orders because of COVID-19. I extended an olive branch to her, with a mask, but she refused. From there I felt some tension, so I asked if we could pray before we began the interview process. Ronda agreed and she made it a point to let me know she was a Christian after our prayer. So I took the opportunity to ask her if she could explain the Gospel to me. She did very well and gave me a solid explanation. Everything seemed to be going along fine talking about spiritual things, until she said, "I prayed and asked Jesus into my heart." and I knew exactly what she meant, going down the aisle for an altar call myself praying "that prayer" with no concept of repentance, continuing in a sin-filled life with little, to no real change in my life.
I asked her, "Do you read the Bible everyday?" and she said, "Yes" but didn't have one in her duffel bag. So I asked her, "If I presented her with a bible rather then a mask previously would she have accepted the it?" and she said "No!".
After that we had a back and forth for about two hours which at times was very difficult because she was resistant in answering questions about her disability claim, which will be asked by any shelter or facility I was to refer her too, where at the minimum she would be asked to clean up after herself. Now keep in mind when I arrived for our meeting, Ronda was in the parking lot, sitting on the asphalt and when she got up didn't seem to have any problems with pain, nor did she seem to have any signs of pain while sitting on the wooden chair for the duration of our meeting.
Non-the-less by the end of our time together it was quite clear she had used ever avenue possible to rest her head somewhere, from couch surfing to 6 different shelters, with little to no cooperation in helping in normal upkeep or chores.
Our meeting ended and I was saddened, because couldn't help her; it would be a waist of time for everyone involved, filling out applications, arranging interviews with potential housing facilities, because Ronda had previously been in and out of them and undoubtedly burnt bridges along the way with her demands of independent housing/living and not wanting to be with others in a "program." She had specific wants and was not willing to humble herself as you would think someone in her position would.
The fact she just wanted to be able sleep somewhere for 2 to 3 days at a time, with no one telling her what to do or where go, running her own agenda, waiting on both her approval of her of her disability claim/check all at the same time waiting on Section 8 housing that may or may not come. I'm convinced, unless God intervenes in her life and draws her to Himself she will continue to be homeless.