I wasn't fortunate enough to there when Dr. King gave his speech about his dream but I have felt his presence in his words since I was a young adult. To have the strength to pursue a path that involves standing up to bullies that hold contempt and hate for you has always been impressive to me. But to stand up to them with compassion and love is a whole other level of depth that surpasses the average person. I feel that his message is calling us forth to this level of presence in our current circumstance with the administration that is taking office soon. How can we take up the mantle of this great man and move our nation forward? How can each one of us make a difference in the lives of those around us? I think that for some of us the grand gestures of marching with signs and shouting to the roof tops that something isn't right is one way. I also think that the presence of someone holding the hand of a frightened child who has just lost their home is also just as powerful and illustrates the character Dr. King was referring to in his quote. And I happen to know someone who does the latter. She is someone that I admire greatly and am to grateful to know. Her work with the most unfortunate in this particular local has been going on for over 20 years. Her dedication and love for the people who are the most down trodden in our society, who by circumstances out of their control find themselves without homes have a friend to turn to and she makes every effort to create an avenue for them to have access to the basics, food, water, shelter and love. And one of the most important factors in her work is that she is driven by love for her fellow humans. She does not see them as just homeless but as people with stories and hearts that have become broken and dreams that have been lost. She not only picks up the pieces of their lives as best she can within a system that is flawed in it's bureaucracy and inefficiency but she also does it with the upmost respect for them as human beings. She has a dream....a dream that all people have shelter. That they have a well lighted place to call home. And this dream to me is more pertinent than packing up and traveling to a far away place for a week or two supporting a cause that is also important but not in front of us everyday that has had numerous videos on FB, myriads of blogs written and famous radio celebrities arrested or a cause that is marketed well and funded with the option to purchase a great T-shirt and the place to be seen by your friends. This quiet work is done after hours or during the pouring down rain or by putting off going home to fix dinner for her family. This work is done day in and day out even after everyone has put away their signs and have returned to their warm houses enjoying the Central Coast as the beautiful place they call home. She is not a weekend or vacation activist, she is an everyday doer where her plans are dictated by those who need a roof over their heads and food to eat today. And these people she helps are here in our backyard.......not thousands of miles away. The thing that astounds me about my friend is that she states facts that are obstacles in her way and still tries to find solutions despite the up hill battle she faces with community members who are more interested in accolades than finding the Vet down at the creek a place to hang his hat and a job to afford putting food in his mouth. And yet she accepts the conditions and continues to find 'work arounds' for the system because she knows that to sleep on the cold ground and huddle in the rain is neither a choice nor a way of life that anyone would choose no matter how much they may say it is. No one wants to sleep on a WWII cot in a room full of other people with equally disparaging albeit different stories of how they also came to be without the most basic of needs, shelter. She understands that everyone not only deserves this basic need but also deserves not her pity but her understanding of their circumstance and their value as individuals. Some of them have served our country, some are mothers with young children and others are confused and can not find the mental where with all to make sound and safe decisions. THESE are the ones that we have forgotten or stepped over in our haste to be somewhere that is changing the face of popular underground news or makes us feel good about ourselves......so wake up to the reality that some hero's are here in our midst doing work that needs to be done. And perhaps all of us can take a cue from this heart centered woman as she shows us how to be relevant in the lives of someone who needs our help just a few steps away from our homes. And as she guides her own daughters on this path as well we can see the next generation of dream makers. And these new dreamers just might come up with a way to find homes for everyone and we can all sleep better knowing that there are no people huddling on the concrete in the shadows on a cold night feeling the dampness seeping into their clothes. That they have a home.
My friend is Dee Torres and started a non-profit called SLO Housing Connection. http://www.slohousingconnection.org/
If you want to make a difference in our local community call her or donate to continue to assist her in making her dream come true that no one is without shelter or a place to call home.. She is also on FB
My mission is to help people become more in tune with their own Soul Spirit plus Spirit Teachers and Angelic Guides resulting in clarity and awareness of the Divine that lives within!