Streets of Madison: Happy Endings-Bethel Homeless Support Style: Kaysi, Blake Jr., and Blake Sr. "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" Although this story if far from over, I just wanted yo...
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Sunday, March 2, 2014
|Kaysi, Blake Jr., and Blake Sr.|
"Ain't No Mountain High Enough"
Although this story if far from over, I just wanted you to meet this young family and understand what it has taken for them to get to this point.
We first met Kaysi a little over three years ago. She was a real mess. She was involved in a very abusive relationship, was living on the streets, and believed that there was little hope of having a (normal) life. She had even considered and tried to commit suicide. on the last attempt I personally went to the hospital and suggested that there were other way to deal with her problems, short of checking out. She got some help from the social workers at Meriter Hospital and mental health folks but still struggled with the day to day existance of being homeless.
Then a friend of her's, Blake, stepped in to do what he could do to help. Blake was homeless himself but saw to it that Kaysi could stay with a friend of his for a while and when it came time for Kaysi to help out with some of her expenses, Blake would sell his own plasma to take care of it. They soon became a couple.
Then Kaysi became pregnant. She wondered how in
the world she was going to handle a being homeless and having a child too. She was determined to have the baby and Blake was behind the idea also. Kaysi sought out assistance with pre-natal care and received it. All during the pregnancy she took advice and cared for her unborn child, like any good mother to be would do, while still having the rigors of being homeless still hanging over her. Happily, Blake and Kaysi would welcome a very healthy 6 lb. 14 oz. baby boy, named Blake A. M. Weaver Jr. in as our newest homeless neighbor, born on July 17, 2013. I'm not totally sure, but when I first meet Little Blake in the first week of his life he was smiling and to date I don't believe he has ever quit smiling. A very happy and well adjusted young man!
Blake has finally found work as he joined "Operation Fresh Start", a program to assist at-risk young people to overcome barriers to success and to become self-sufficient young adults. This program provides young people, ages 16-24, with a paid full-time job building affordable housing and classroom time to build academic and life skills. He will also earn his G.E.D.. Although he has only been enrolled in this program for a little over a month, Blake is excelling in all areas as he is now a Team Leader. Kaysi on the other hand, worked very, very, hard on finding a place to rent that they could call home. After what seemed to be hundreds of NO'S she finally found someone to rent them an apartment for $650 per month even though she only gets $685 per month in assistance and Blake's income is around $700 per month. Before now Kaysi paid all the rent with her income.
This story is all about determination and Love! Here is a very young couple who have faced the challenges of Homelessness, Poverty, and social scrutiny, to rise above what most people thought they were capable of. They are a happy, loving family, with one of the coolest baby boys you will ever meet. Do they struggle financially? Sure they do! Do they still need our help? Of course they do! We here at Bethel's Homeless Support Services will always be a part of their support network. What could you do to help this hard working young family? Below are just a couple of things that are always helpful:
Diapers: Size 3 Donations Can Be Dropped Off:
Formula: Gerber Good Start C/O Bethel Homeless Ministries
Baby Lotion 312 Wisconsin Ave.
Baby Oils Madison, WI 53703
NOTE: Once a month I will attempt to profile one person from our Ministry to allow our readers the opportunity to put a face and a story behind our homeless friends and neighbors.
Book Club News:
Last week our book club took on the Movie "300". A fictional movie which depicts the battle of Thermopylae within the Persian Wars, directed by Zack Snyder. This film's plot revolves around King Leonidas, who leads 300 Spartans into battle against the Persian "god-King" Xerxes and his invading army of more than 300,000 soldiers. I won't spoil the movie for you by letting you know who wins in the end. You will just have to see it!
Next time we meet we will be getting back to our book, the "New York Times" best seller "The Lightning Thief", by Rick Riordan.
Until next week: Hasta La Goo-Goo! ------Mark.
Monday, February 24, 2014
Here We Go Again!
Bitter Cold Grips Madison Again:
Yet another blast of winter weather has set it"s sights on Madison. Temperatures to drop into the low single digits and several days of below zero for the lows. Fortunately for our homeless friends, it looks like all the mens and womens shelters will remain open in the morning until 9am, this week and I am assuming that those individuals with bans will be allowed in until the weather breaks later this week or next.
0 Day Forecast
Updated: Feb 24, 2014, 12:05pm CST
This winter, as we all know, has been the coldest winter on record in the last 20 years. I recently saw that the average daily temperature for Madison, from the beginning of December until the middle of February was 16.3 degrees. Now that's cold! We have also had over 79 inches of snow. Not only has that made it hard to get around safely in our cars but it also makes it extremely hard to get around if you are physically handicapped as are some of our homeless friends are. Suffice it to say, this winter has been horrible!
Bethel Lutheran church was closed on New Years Eve and New Years Day as were a lot of other places (like all City, County, and State facilities) and at one point it was looking like our Homeless neighbors would have no place to stay warm during this time. Thanks to the generous efforts of our neighbor church to open their doors on New Years Eve, our friends had a place to go. Yes, Pastor Carley Kuntz and Karen Andro from First United Methodist Church not only provided a place to stay warm, but also provided a breakfast and lunch for our downtown friends, all on the spur of the moment. Our very own Conner Wild and myself also volunteered to spend the day with them, as First United was not totally familiar with having our guests for the whole day. Thank you First United for your Loving Spirit.
On New Years Day our friends were invited to another Church for the day, Fountain of Life Church, where the coffee and hospitality was unbelieveable. Thank You Fountian of Life!
Then again on Martin Luther King Day, many Churches, local and state governments were closed once more. A huge thanks goes out to Fr. Jonathan and Grace Episcopal Church for the grace and hospitality that they showed as they welcomed our homeless friends for the day. Many volunteers came that day and served a wonderful lunch.Once again our very own Conner Wild and myself went to help out for the day. If these other churches and Bethel's Homeless Services not stepped up who knows what heartache could have occurred on these dangerously cold days this winter.
The cooperation between the downtown churches and other advocates during this time was extremely important as the City of Madison and Dane County had not made plans to make sure it's most vulnerable citizens would be able to find a safe, warm, and a dry place to survive.
Bethel Lutheran Church should be proud of the love, support, and hope it brings to the Homeless community each and every day. Have we had some problems? Yes, but nothing a good Christian Community can't handle. The folks we are trying to help, have issues, some serious, but none so serious that we can't put forth a welcoming smile, a hearty hello, some sage advice, or a guiding hand. We are all God's children and I for one am thankful for that!
Until next week, "Hasta La-GOO-GOO! Mark
Until next week, "Hasta La-GOO-GOO! Mark