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My new friend "K"

This past weekend I spent time in Baltimore at the Metro Kidz Block Party. We had a fantastic time and interacted with several hundred citizens in South West Baltimore. This area is one of the roughest areas of the city with gangs, drugs, violence and all else that comes with poverty. Many of these families have no access to a local grocery store and without jobs in this section of town many are forced to long bus rides or minimum wage employment. Gentrification has taken hold in other parts of town which only serves to exasperate the problem in areas such as this.
In the midst of all of this trouble and turmoil is a place like Metro Kidz. Metro Kidz is a light in the darkness for this part of town where juveniles are used as drug runners on a regular basis. Most of the corners belong to drug dealers but Metro Kidz provides one corner in the city where Christ is made known. This place is a refuge.

MetroKidz held their summer block party this past weekend and at this event people of all ages came out. I had the opportunity to meet "K". K is a homeless man who has certainly had his fair share of the city life. He's been stabbed and shot and has battled with drugs and alcohol for many years. He shared with me that his only home is what is carried in his duffel bag and each night he makes his way down to a local pond where he tries to sleep. In the mornings he uses the pond's water as a bath and he goes about his day. While I'm positive there are plenty of things he's done that have come back to hurt himself there are other legitimate times where life just hasn't broken right for him.

K shared with me that he was raped as a young boy and abused most of his life. Now a 49 year old man he said "I'm done with it all." He's done with the city, done with the drugs and alcohol and he's done with living the way he has been living. K told me that the advocates he's had in the past have stolen money provided to him by various governmental agencies and he's often left hopeless to roam the streets. K also shared however that life wasn't always like this. That as recently as 10 years ago he was fully employed and renting a home with his wife. He has had employment as a cook, a carpenter and painter. These trade jobs want nothing to do with him right now without a place to live and his addictions haven't been properly addressed.

As my reader you need to know that I've been around the block with these stories. I'm an intuitive person who has pretty good discernment. Many times I have walked away from guys like K with the same cynicism most people hold. I don't see that in this man nor did I comfort him by whole-heartedly buying the story. I prodded and poked. I also told him that folks who can help him are going to expect him to pull his own weight, stay clean and work hard at a job. With tears streaming he promised that he wanted nothing but shelter and the opportunity to live a clean life away from the city.

So here I am. I want to ask you, my friends if you know of any drug-rehab homes that are Christian in nature where my new friend K could attend. I have one I will be in touch with but space is always limited. I'd love to see if possibly someone out there (preferably far from MD) would have an opportunity away from a major city where my friend K could get some help. If you have connections to such a place, please let me know. I'm not K so I can't promise an outcome but I think the least we can all do is find guys like him and give them a grace-filled opportunity to meet Jesus and be healed in his name.

If you want information on how to help Metro Kidz please contact me as well. This past weekend I helped hook them up with some equipment and invited a friend to bring his youth department down. They left with a whole new perspective on ministry and service. In fact my friend, Tucker, is going back down tomorrow on his own time to help them with the sound equipment. Metro Kidz is an outreach of a church that was formed from within the neighborhood of people coming to know Jesus. I'm positive that you will hear more about this group on my blog but I'd like to see if we can start getting them some help today and help guys like K right now.

posted by Tally Wilgis @ Tuesday, June 24, 2008


At 10:55 PM, Blogger Dottie said...

He so needs to come live in florida with the progran ashley and i are volunteering for.


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