America is a pretty great place.
A few weeks ago, a man came into the storage unit and told me his story.
He had just been fired. He didn't have the means to pay his rent, so he moved everything out and was going to tough it out in the shelter until he found a job.
In the meantime, I've seen him work hard every day.
With his unemployment money, he bought himself a little trolley. He buys cold sodas at a plant about 20 blocks away--and sells it in three different locations throughout the day. He will walk an extra mile to get lower prices and he keeps track of his profits--making sure he always has enough to continue his business the next day.
He is old, worn out, but energized by this opportunity to prove himself and move forward.
A couple months ago a little family came into the storage unit. They moved from back east to find work. They were excited to be in a new state with new opportunities. They were staying at the shelter too. I see this couple often. I love hearing how their son is doing well with his friends at school and how she gets up early in the morning to walk him to school. The father found a job that he enjoys and now they're just saving up money to move into an apartment.
Another man came into the storage facility about 6 weeks ago--just off the bus from the midwest. He had lost his job too. He asked every question he could think to ask about opportunities in the area. I gave him information on where to look for jobs--and a little map of the city and free destinations to enjoy while he was in our fair city.
He returns often to tell me about his adventures. He is working with a temp agency as often as he can and he heads over to Home Depot and Lowe's on other days to get in a full day's work.
I asked him today, "Are they taking advantage of you?"
He replied, "I'm humble and grateful for anything I can get."
I have so much to be grateful for today. I am especially grateful for the opportunity to see these friends demonstrate the power of hope and hard work.
Isn't that what America is all about?
(Sidenote: I just found out that this little family found a place to live. More hope!)