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Stories from Staff

When A Homeless Man Came To Church

From Holly, a staff member of Portland Rescue Mission:
On a recent Sunday morning, I rushed in late (as usual) to the church I attend. After I plopped into my normal, comfortable spot, I noticed a strong, foul odor filling the air and looked around me.  
A homeless gentleman sat behind me. His face and clothing were almost comical.  His heavy wool hat and wooly beard covered all of his face and head except a tiny sliver where his eyes and nose peeked out. I thought maybe he was and actor for a skit, intentionally placed there to get our attention, but I caught myself before I laughed. 
He was not a joke, I realized.  He was not laughing.  I overcame my natural instinct to move away so I could breathe.  He looked at me sheepishly as I went to him and shook his hand.  
His name was Scott.  “I’ve been sleeping in the bushes,” he told me.  He was happy to come into the church so he could warm up for a couple of hours and use the restroom.  He wanted to detox and start changing his life so he would be able to come to church and “fit in better”.  
I told Scott about the Portland Rescue Mission where he could eat, find love and hope, get the support he needed to make a true total-life recovery.  I gave him some bus tickets and told him he could ride the MAX train right to the front door of the Burnside Shelter.  He would be welcomed and fed, and shown how to take the first step to his new life.  
I can only hope and pray that Scott will take that important step.