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Point in Time - Guest Blogger Toni Lewis
Each year United Way participates in the Point in Time count. The Point-in-Time Count is an annual count of the homeless mandated by HUD during the last week in January, which is undertaken by every county in the United States. Over the next few posts, we want to share some reflections on the event. Our guest blogger in this post is Toni Lewis - Project Manager.
Exactly 21 years ago on Bellevue Avenue in Trenton, my husband Craig and I considered the best names for a girl or a boy. It was 10:30 AM when we welcomed a beautiful baby girl, named her Jennifer and brought her to our warm home nearby. On her 21st birthday, my husband and I returned to Trenton to volunteer for Homeless Connect and welcomed hundreds of people. We listened as they spoke of tragic income, health, family and other life conditions. It remained unbelievable. How could someone actually have “no place to go” or “no income” or “$140/month and $200/month in food stamps?” The majority of these lovely and lively souls live together at the mission in Trenton. While they absolutely need a home, they really want a job; fully knowing it is the true path to a better life. On January 24th, 2012, focused on their immediate needs, they asked only for a meal and clothes. I am fortunate to be part of the efforts of the United Way of Greater Mercer County and Mercer Alliance, two organizations that realize the expressed need in our local community. While what we did today is not enough, it is certainly a start. We delivered hope, and doled out smiles just like the day my husband and I welcomed our daughter into the world, 21 years ago.