Where do you sleep? What do you call home? Sometimes the places where we sleep can be a house, apartment, condo, townhouse, or duplex. And sometimes they can be a building, sidewalk, tent, hut, shack, or cardboard box. Any of those places can be called someone’s home. Or they can be simply called the place where they sleep.
Being without a home seems impossible to me. No matter one’s situation, a person can refer to a place or (even person or groups of people) that/who feels like home. For me, my home is historic Roswell, GA. I feel the most at home there, especially the little historic, downtown area where my home church is located, my parents’ house is located, my place of work is located, and my favorite running trails are located. I have friends and family who add to the experience of my home feeling the way it does. The environment and nature also have a large part in making my home feel the way it does, specifically the creek by the mill and the wisteria all over the place. When I see wisteria anywhere, I think of home. When I rock hop or wade in any creek, I think of my creek (that creek) a mile away where my dog and I love swimming and simply just sitting.
Even if someone who goes through his or her life without any human interaction, drastically speaking, I believe that person can still think of a place in mind where he or she feels at home. Therefore, I don’t think one can be “without a home.” One can be without a house, but not without a home. I see this is in my assigned family at Genesis Shelter. The mom is a mother of seven children, six of whom reside in Genesis with her. The oldest is 12 and the youngest is 9 months. They do not have a place that they can call their own; however, I know they would say that their home is each other. My idea of homelessness is being molded by my experiences and relationships at Genesis. Some of the residents at Genesis may consider themselves homeless because they don’t have a place of their own. However, maybe a major part of my job as a “minister” (a term which I am still struggling with) is to help them discover what their home can be.
Reflections on homelessness, to be continued.