Police Visit

Journal Entry #3

The first time we had a police visit it was from the Chief of the Township.  She had stopped by to check on us and make sure we were all on Township property.  She informed us that the Township had sold part of the property to the city and not to be surprised if they showed up trying to roust us out of there.

She talked with Elroy the most and she was impressed by how we were stepping up to look out for the others and how we were getting supplies to pass out as well.  That was the day we were informed that she would make sure to bring anyone that was found sleeping where they should not be verses taking them to the shelter.

She gave Elroy her business card and informed him that if he had any issues with the City Police, we were to call her first before we left the property. Within three days the City Police officers showed up.  They asked to see Elroy’s driver’s license and asking a bunch of questions.

They ended up saying they wanted to take Elroy down to the station for more questions, he asked if he could get a business card from in the wigwam since it would be his one and only phone call. They said he could. When he returned with it they asked if they could see it.

Elroy said sure and handed it over to them, one was a rookie and said “So what?” in regard to the card.  The other one explained to him that the card was for the Chief of the Township Police and that she would make sure to have them knocked down and if not possibly out of a job completely. They handed over the card and backed up, bowing, the whole way out of the community apologizing the whole way!

We had no more problems the rest of the time there.

COFFEE QUOTES: #3 Drink coffee: When you don’t want to do anything, but still want to look like you’re thinking about doing something.

Sweets

Volunteers

Journal Entry #2

The volunteers we came in contact with while living Homefree were pretty awesome.  There were a few that would visit the day room regularly.  They enjoyed sitting and talking with anyone that came in everyday and hearing their stories.

One lady started knitting cowels when the weather turned cold.  Some would even help fill out and explain different paperwork that some needed to do to get assistance of any kind to improve their life.  A few even stepped up and helped with transportation if needed.

We had a few people that were just talk, no action.  They were “Christians” that never followed through with anything; Christian by religion, not by faith.  The most disheartening of the bunch.

“We will come out to the community and help clean up any trash.”  They never showed up.  “Tell me one thing you would like for Christmas.”

We all shared, not one gift showed up.  All the items that were given were under $10. Try being a volunteer at a day room or a shelter; it can be fun and rewarding.

COFFEE QUOTES: #2 Drink coffee, read books, be happy.

Sweets

How the Beginning Continued

16 May 2019, Thursday

Greetings from our family to yours and Welcome to another TrailMagick89 missive,

I had two weeks to get to New Eagle Pennsylvania. I had to say good-bye to my girlfriend, move everything from the room I was renting, collect my last paychecks, book tickets on Greyhound from Lansing to Pittsburgh all just as the Summer Olympics were beginning in two thousand eight. I traveled by bus from Lansing to Pittsburgh reading my favorite book; In His Steps by Charles Sheldon.

When I arrived I was picked up and taken the next day to the factory that I was hired to work at to find out that in the two weeks it took me to travel to my destination had lost the government contract. Then I was told they would be closed indefinitely until the company could gain another contract which from what the office manager said would not be for another two to three months. So I returned to the room I had rented with the last of my money, and made a plan to start looking for work. I began to attend Riverview Baptist Church. And the church had three events scheduled for the week along with Wednesday evening and Sunday morning and evening services.

So with no family or friends in town, no job, a bag of clothes, a novel, a Bible, and mountain sickness I attended as many events as I could, I also helped a church member move down river, and walked into business after business looking for work. As the week progressed I became more and more distraught, I continued to pray for the Lord to break me. And in that short time I got to know the congregation of that little church by the river very well.

I still had no job and no money by the end of the week and then I was homeless. I made a few phone calls to a friend in Michigan and by the second day I was on a bus back to Michigan. My brother had made arrangements for me to return and when I was picked up by my mother she dropped me off at the City Rescue Mission of Lansing and that was when my time began on the streets and still I prayed. It was the second week of the Summer Olympics when I had returned with less than I had left with. A friend that I had met in Pennsylvania had told me they would bring my belongings to Michigan when they came a week later.

A month after I was back I found out that the friend had thrown out my belongings, my family had begun to invite my ex-wife and her boyfriend (now husband) to family events. And I was broken. I continued to pray for God to lead me.

I spent each night praying for each man in each bunk at the shelter. I began learning the ropes as well as started going to the CSL Plasma Center in South Lansing. I learned that though everyone that was part of my life had moved on.

I attended church at the shelter each Sunday. The biggest problem I had with the shelter was to get a warm meal or a bed to sleep in you had to hear about Jesus from a different person each night. Now hearing about Jesus never gets dull however, when there is a different version each night and they each believe they are right at some point you just stop listening.

Jesus had finally answered my prayer. Oh and by the way; in the years that I stayed at the shelter, ate meals there, or received a food package from there I never did see the church I had been a Youth Pastor at.

This concludes part two.

We appreciate that you stuck around until the end. If, you have found any value in this post, make sure to hit the “Like” button and “Subscribe” to TrailMagick89 blog. Please feel free to share your thoughts below. You can also find us on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Amazon, and of course WordPress.

Semper Fidelis, Elroy & Sweets

Nomadic Mindset

14 May 2019, Tuesday

Greetings from our family to yours and Welcome to another TrailMagick89 missive,

A few months back I wrote the following for a blog post that never was posted and never will be posted: “Recently we had a meeting with one of our counselors. Being someone that has multiple doctors that control much of my life; I also have many other people that control much of my life. Per two of my neurologists I have to be seizure free for six months and seizure free for one year per my primary care physician before I will be cleared to have a normal job. So that is why I blog.

It is not a glorious job but I enjoy it. Now after two years Sweets and I are looking at being homeless once again. The interesting thing is that representatives of Oakland Livingston Human Services Agency, Michigan State Housing Development Authority, Housing First, my doctors, counselors, and a few other agencies, including doctors from two psych wards, all have repeatedly been told that we need to change our mindset. And that mindset is that we need to believe that we are not homeless and that we have a home so we are just like everyone else.

We have been in the Housing First program better known as being on section eight for eight months, after being in two other programs that has kept us in housing from November of two thousand sixteen until section eight picks us up. At since that time we have been repeatedly told we are not homeless and we should not have those thought.

We have been through two inspections which we are only supposed to have had one in three more months. It would be great if all the agencies, the government agencies, would share the information that we have repeatedly signed paperwork so they could do that very thing. However, each agency expects the people that are in one program or another to repeated fill out paperwork just to make sure we are not lying about some sort of bullshit, and then we are out of the program.

If we miss a deadline of filling out paperwork even by one day, even if we are waiting for an agency to get around to sending us required paperwork that we need to fill out another agencies paperwork, so as of this past week we have been informed that as of July first we will be back on the streets. We did not get the required paperwork we needed from the Social Security Administration to the company that is operating the Housing First program for Michigan State Housing Development Authority, do to the phone system at the SSA. We missed it by two days.

So after being homeless and getting a place, we will be back where we belong. We have a trike that will allow us to travel easier and carry more with us. So the mindset of millions around the world is supposed to change when each day we face the challenge of ending up right where we began.

The difference is from being homeless not by choice but by circumstance and being homeless by choice is that the choice gives us the opportunity to determine whether we are homeless, whether we are nomads, whether we are gypsies, whether we are vagabonds, or whether we are wanderers. So the mindset needs to change not only for those of us that has to pick whether we are to continue to be part of the system that wants to keep us under its thumb or whether we choose to be free. We have decided it is better to be anything other than homeless.

The thing is about this mindset that needs to change is not so much the people that are homeless but those that want to label us as homeless. Up until a hundred or so years ago the definition of the homeless was different. Sure there were people that are homeless but not like there are now a days.

What if we were to start looking at how people, all people, all of us started looking at one another as people that are here on earth, living on this planet, what if we each looked at one another as being equal? What if we work to make it possible for people to live as they choose? What if we started with a mindset of not discrediting one another?”

Instead of posting that blog missive about what if we have chosen to live the lifestyle of let us do this and see where it takes us not, “gee, I wonder what could have happen, had I only tried and taken that first step?”

We appreciate that you stuck around until the end. If, you have found any value in this post, make sure to hit the “Like” button and “Subscribe” to TrailMagick89 blog. Please feel free to share your thoughts below. You can also find us on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Amazon, and of course WordPress.

Semper Fidelis, Elroy & Sweets

Evening Prayers

Journal Entry #1

While we were in Wild West, one of the items we offered to the community members was a Bible that had been donated.  We had only a few that declined it but many that we came in contact with accepted it. It was always the last item that was offered.  We told them if they had any questions; either about what they read or what they may have heard or taught at some point, to just ask.

There was not a night that went by that someone didn’t bring God up in conversation.  We had a Bible study in the afternoon for anyone that wanted to attend. We never forced them.

We had a few that showed up, not every week but they did show and listened. We also let them know that we were available to pray for them.  If there was something that they needed prayer for to just let us know.

Elroy, Gnome and I prayed for each person that was in the community. We prayed for their safety and their health. We also prayed for God’s will to be done and that they were able to see Him in our actions and words that we spoke.

Most of the time it was just Elroy and I praying for the others.  I learned during that time to pray for whoever came to mind, no matter when or where I was.  There was a few times I woke up in the night to pray for someone. I even fell asleep while praying at times.

Those were my private personal prayers. I was growing closer to God and learning to listen for God’s whisper.

COFFEE QUOTES: #1 Coffee makes your brain go, Weeee!

Sweets

How it all Began

9 May 2019, Thursday

Greetings from our family to yours and Welcome to another TrailMagick89 missive,

Recently, I did a small missive on trail magic. I thought I would do a missive on how we ended up here. And that comes down to a short prayer I first prayed back in two thousand seven. The prayer was short and simple.

“Lord, Break me.” Like I said it was short. At the time I had just started as a youth pastor at a small country church. I had been attending Lansing Bible Institute in Lansing and I would go on to attend it a further twelve months. I had participated in prison ministry and I was about to start attending a second Bethany Bible College on the off days from the first one. I had put in multiple requests to participate in the homeless ministry that both Bible institutes participated in.

As the days went on I continued to pray to the Lord the same simple prayer. I participated more and more in different events that the institutes hosted: potlucks, tent meetings, carnivals, door knocking, and on and on the list goes. I was moving from leading Sunday school on to leading Sunday night and Wednesday Bible studies along with the Sunday school each week. And still I kept asking about joining the team that went to the shelters to do homeless ministries.

As the Winter came to a close my marriage began to fall apart. I found out that as I was beginning my second year at Bible institute my wife had begun an online affair. I had yet to attend a single visit to the homeless ministry. That Christmas I found out that I was basically sold out to the leadership of the Bible institutes I was attending. They were told that I had been having an affair with a co-worker, and our marriage falling apart was my fault. And still I prayed, “Lord, break me.”

I still went to work, as a matter of fact, I had actually begun working forty to sixty hours a week at three different locations. So I was able to work as much as I wanted. Oh and did I mention I was booted out of both Bible institutes and I never went a trip to the local shelters to do homeless ministry, at one point they told me they no longer did that.

I prayed some more and even harder. To become homeless, a person sometimes only need to experience one of three things: loss of marriage (that happened), loss of job (that had not happened), and/or loss of home (I found a different place to live). I prayed some more.

My marriage ended when my future ex-wife and I both agreed to see other people; she saw of course her online friend and since I was accused of it, I started seeing someone, a former co-worker, just not the one I was accused of. I prayed some more.

I was making so much money and I was just sick of the crap from working at three different locations for the same company, I quit. I payed off of my rent for five months and quit my job. And I kept praying.

Then I took a job out of state…

This concludes part one.

We appreciate that you stuck around until the end. If, you have found any value in this post, make sure to hit the “Like” button and “Subscribe” to TrailMagick89 blog. Please feel free to share your thoughts below. You can also find us on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Amazon, and of course WordPress.

Semper Fidelis, Elroy & Sweets

Small Town America

7 May 2019, Tuesday

Greetings from our family to yours and Welcome to another TrailMagick89 missive,

Sitting here writing this missive I was thinking about the variety of missives I have written regarding living in Clio and the homeless. I was informed that to be an expert in something you need to spend ten thousand hours of your time doing that very thing you are wanting to be an expert in.

That thing for me is being homeless. It was not by choice when I first became homeless. Minus the hours for sleep I became an expert on being homeless against my will at one year and four months; add to that I have been homeless by choice an additional amount of time to multiply that by five. Over the last twelve years I have been homeless about six of those years.

I have slept under a bridge near REO-town Lansing, under bushes off of South Cedar, at the day room at Central United Methodist Church, at a bus stop near Sparrow Hospital, in two encampments, at Lansing City Rescue Mission, on couches, in garages, a barn, along side the road, and the list goes on. With all that said I came from a small town and I live in one now. Small town life actually prepared me for living in places that most people would not consider habitable. A large portion – more than sixty percent – of the homeless come from small towns.

All across the nation farmers stop farming and go to work in the cities as factory workers, bus drivers, mechanics, and the list goes on. It is time to stop small town America from closing up and start investing in them. One way I see that happening is to start opening shelters such as boarding houses and half way houses to house those that need it. If factories in those small towns would work with shelters, it would be amazing to see towns turn around.

One way to do that is for businesses and towns to work with Habitat for Humanity in renovating old homes for those in need. Another is for local churches to offer day rooms, soup kitchens, or food pantries. Still another way for that is for businesses that are opening new locations to relocate to small towns outside of bigger cities.

There are even other things that can be done such as local bus lines to offer new stops in small towns that lay on the outskirts of cities that they service; even if those new stops are not everyday. Allowing people to take a ride into the city for doctor’s appointments or for grocery shopping opens up all kinds of possibilities for those in small town America.

We appreciate that you stuck around until the end. If, you have found any value in this post, make sure to hit the “Like” button and “Subscribe” to TrailMagick89 blog. Please feel free to share your thoughts below. You can also find us on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Amazon, and of course WordPress.

Semper Fidelis, Elroy & Sweets

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