We’re working on a video for Purple Door Coffee. We have interviewed some of our friends in various stages of connection with street life. Some that are young in the culture on the streets, others that have been away from Street Kid culture for awhile, and still others that are right in the middle of the culture. We asked questions about job history, life goals, experiences in the workplace, job market–the areas we specifically are seeking to impact.
We really just tried to have conversation with a camera on, and there were a few things that struck me in these conversations:
1. Hope. There is hope everywhere on the streets. Our friends have goals to be veterinarians, own their own house, get married, own their own businesses. But that hope doesn’t seem to be enough to get them there. They have too many roadblocks right now, and so their hope is frequently deferred. Proverbs 13:12 tells us that when hope is deferred it makes the heart sick.
I have seen this from time to time on the streets. Our friends will be hopeful about their future and hit road block after road block which then turns into depression or destructive behaviors or other signs of having a “sick heart”. So, at Purple Door Coffee we’re trying to remove some of those road blocks and help grow that hope that is in the hearts of our friends so that they can really work towards their goals with some success! The second half of Proverbs 13:12 says “but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”
2. Each story is intensely personal. When asked about my job history I can rattle off the jobs I’ve had in my life pretty quickly. There are some interesting stories that arose when I worked at the grocery store or when I was a go-kart attendant, but no painful memories. Our friends on the streets have had very different experiences in the work place.
Some have been victimized in some way, whether by being exploited and cheated out of money or experiencing some sort of abuse or harassment. These interviews helped me see the struggle that employment is for those that have been pushed to the edge of our society. We hope to help them find a path to sustainable employment in a healthy, just and safe environment.
3. Humor is a good thing. Even in the middle of their tough situations our friends maintain their humor. They’re funny. We laughed a good amount when chatting for our video, and we seem to laugh a lot when we hang out in general. Laughing is a good thing. We hope to provide a place that teaches job skills and helps our friends rebuild lives, yes. We also plan to laugh together!
Be looking for the new video in the not too distant future! Blessings to you!