This blog was written by Blu Honeycutt, our Peer Support Specialist. To read more about Blu’s journey, click here for her very first blog post, or here for her blog about getting her first glasses in years.
This Friday, June 8th 2018, will be 2 years that I have been a dopeless hope fiend, and looking back on what I have accomplished in those two years is amazing. I now have a full time job that I love. I have an apartment that I pay for all on my own. I get to see my kids regularly. And I have a network of people that believe in me.
I was sleeping in Mount Hope graveyard for the first 4 months or so of my recovery. I wanted to stay clean but knew I couldn’t be around other people that used, so I decided to isolate myself from the rest of the world. On that journey, I stayed in tents on the Greenway, slept under sidewalks at Moore Square, hid behind churches at night ’cause there was no where for me to go that would be safe from me.
When I found Love Wins, it was like the universe told me, “this is your new place to call home.” I could get warm food, take a nap, have someone notice that I was alive. I had started to earn a little money by flying a cardboard sign, and I started putting it into a savings account… I wanted out of that tent.
I used some of the money to pay for essential oils, made custom blended oils and sold them. I was hand-making business cards at Love Wins, when one of the staff members saw all the hard work I was putting into them. They passed around a hat to a bunch of other homeless people and asked them if they could spare any change, ’cause they wanted to help me get business cards ordered. By that afternoon everyone pitched in, and I had “Blu’s Bottles” business cards up and running.
I managed to save enough money to get an apartment, so I came back to Love Wins again. “I need help finding a place to live. I have money.”
That’s all I had to say, and they started helping me look. A week later I got an e-mail from Hugh telling me to come see him. He pulled me to back office and told me the good news: they had found a place I could rent and afford, but I HAD to show that I had money to do this. I moved into my apartment 2 days later on July 18, 2017!!
As I left the center that day with a shower curtain, pots and pans, I heard Alyssa tell someone that I was a success story. I went from living in a tent to having my own apartment. I was a SUCCESS!! I did something worth being proud of, and other people were proud of me too. When you are able to succeed at a goal, and get to see it happen, it is an amazing feeling that can’t be replaced. I have had the wonderful opportunity to watch it happen for other people while i have worked here too.
I’m gonna tell you a little bit about Freddie. He was a gentleman that came to Love Wins on his last string. He had a loss in his family, and he was far away from them. He was from Florida. Alone, and not sure what to do or where to start, he came to me and asked if we could just talk. It turned into a friendship that will always stay with me.
He needed work. So I found him a list of hair salons that were hiring. He needed somewhere to sleep. So i gave him the address to the shelter. He needed someone to listen. So i just sat with him. I began to see him almost everyday and watched his confidence grow each time I saw him. He eventually got a full time job at Sports Clips and even got himself into an Oxford house. He came back to Love Wins once or twice a week and cut our community’s hair for free. I was so proud to watch him grow as a human being again.
He came to us last week, to tell us that he had a medical emergency and he had to get back to Florida. He could actually afford to pay for himself to get a Greyhound ticket, and it was an amazing thing to see him doing self care. As Peer Support Specialist for Love Wins, that is my biggest thing for our folks. Self Care. He had done it! He is a SUCCESS!!
This is what makes my job so awesome! I get to see people take a journey that is similar to mine and succeed at making it out the other side. It can be done with the right people around you, and support in all your hopes. We see some people just once and they disappear, but then once in a “Blu” moon (hehehe), we get to have someone like this remind us of why we do what we do. We help people become human again and build meaningful relationships.
Love Never Fails, It Always Wins!!
If you would like to contribute to Blu providing continued support to our community members, click here to donate to our Peer Support Fund.