I have had the unique opportunity to live at the Women’s Gospel Mission for the past week. Keeping the schedule and following the rules and boundaries has been enlightening. Exhaustion encompasses me. Being homeless, experiencing the stress of being homeless, and keeping to the schedule fatigues even the strongest person. Getting up at 6:15 a.m. every day (including Saturday and Sunday) and not being able to relax and maybe take a nap in the afternoon is also exhausting.
I don’t have a home that I can call my own. One of the clients told me that, “Being homeless is exhausting; people ask me why I’m so tired and I tell them: ‘I’m homeless; it’s exhausting’.”
I’ve felt drawn into the family here at the Mission. As a Program Manager, I was treated with respect, but a distance remained between me and my clients. Now as a resident, I’m treated with love, laughter, and a closeness that I didn’t feel before. I feel included as part of the family.
Also, I understand the experience of not having a home of my own. I moved out of my home to allow the new owners to move in, but I had no home to move in to. All my belongings are stored away and my security of having my own home is gone. I know to lean into Jesus as my true security, but I miss having my own home.