“Being wanted, welcomed, invited, and included are some of the most mending experiences on the planet.” ~Adele Calhoun
–“We really need food.” “Katrina,”14, said determinedly over the phone. Her mom argued with her in the background, embarrassed that her daughter was calling Peace of the City for help. Katrina is a “core” teen involved in our programs for the past six years. The new boyfriend in the home–already addicted–introduced the mom to drugs. Family life had soon spiraled out of control.
–Short, freckled and one of our few white kids, “Laurie” (now 24) had come back to Peace of the City for a visit. She was nervous, goofy and awkward. Then I got a moment alone with her. “I haven’t seen you for years, Laurie–what has life been like?” Through a childish lisp she tells me “My mom passed.” Silence. All silliness vanished and deep pools of grief filled her eyes. Laurie had loved her mom so much. “Can we take you out to lunch, Laurie, and talk more?” “Yes, I’d like that.”
–The officer firmly questioned POTC staffer Megan: “What are doing at this house?” “I’m picking up one of ‘our’ kids.” The officer didn’t believe her. “You do not want to be here, not in front of this house.” Apparently “this house” was a busy drug dealing location; the officer assumed Megan was there for drugs. Megan showed him some POTC literature and stated, “Actually officer, that is exactly why this IS the home for us to be at–there are children inside and I’m here to get them.” Surprised, his head snapped back. He paused, then stated simply, “You right, Ma’m—you’re doing good work.”
–“How was your day, Andre?” asked Michael, a young POTC staffer on the way home. “Bad.” replied the fourteen-year-old. “Every day is until I get to Peace of the City.” “Why?”, asked Michael. “Because this is the only place with people who want me.”
Our programs, like Shakespeare, job readiness, literacy and more– are beautiful, excellent and transformative in and of themselves. But the most important aspect of our programs is a context where relationships are birthed and nurtured in which LOVE–and we believe that all loving words and actions trace back to God’s love–defies the circumstances that would otherwise bring our young ones down and keep them there.
In this holiday season of great abundance, please consider a generous gift to the work of Peace of the City. Every day we are making a difference in the lives of children and teenagers. We see it, we know it, we live it. Please be a part of it. Any amount helps–we’re not kidding about this! Thank you.