Posted by: Kerry Spencer | September 16, 2008

First thoughts

I’ve been living here at Jeff St. for right at a week now.  I came here with few expectations, but most of those expectations have been exceeded.  The staff here is more fun than I’d guessed.  The homeless folks are more normal than I thought.  The residents are less scary than I expected.  I’m getting up earlier than I’d hoped (6 AM). 

Despite that last unfortunate realization, life has been good.  I really am enjoying serving and getting to know the homeless and formerly homeless (the 30-some guys who live here) who we see every day.  Life here is always interesting.  For instance, I just got interrupted by one of the residents who is a Cuban guy who speaks very little English.  Despite that detail he’s one of my favorite guys to see around.  He always gives a warm greeting, usually in English.

I guess most surprising has been how easy it has been to begin building relationships with the guys here.  All the guys living here at Jeff St. have been diagnosed with mental illnesses.  I’ve had very little interation with such folks in my lifetime (at least to my knowledge).  Yet I’m quickly learning that mental illness does not equate to being “crazy” or “psycho” as we might sometimes describe such folks.  In fact, many of the guys seem quite normal.  Among them are science buffs, sports fans, and avid readers.  But still I must realize that these guys are just like me and every other human being in that we all have our problems – some are just more obvious and detrimental than others.  We all need help.  God is the ultimate Helper and salvation is the ultimate cure.  I just pray that the Lord will use me to point others to Him and to His remedy.


  1. Kerry, I enjoyed my first email of the day! This is another great example of your wonderful writing ability and expression of God’s love. Joe and I are very proud of you and the work you are doing at Jeff St. Take care, Barbara Miller

  2. Having read the 4 HOPE posts so far, plus all the newsletters from your time in BF, I’ll have to agree with your friend Barabara: you don’t write, you paint…

    This Latina too young friend of yours just prays that some day not only she leaves her comfort zone for good like you do Kerry, every new day, but that when she is there, she may honestly be able to say “Boy, now I know what he was talking about… And I’m truly fond of it”

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