Elizabeth: Homeless, But Not Voiceless

Elizabeth: This is me outside of Mary's Kitchen in Orange.

Elizabeth: This is me outside of Mary’s Kitchen in Orange.

My earlier posts about spending time with Dave, 41, who lives under a bridge in Santa Ana, and J (who lives under the same bridge), have generated a lot of feedback.

I’m overwhelmed by your response, and see that many of you have a heart for the homeless.

Their stories seem to reach you in a tender spot.

Earlier today, Elizabeth contacted me via Facebook.

I’ve never met her, but she sent me a message that I found powerful and moving (included with her permission in its entirety below).

At present, she’s homeless — but certainly not without a voice.  

In her own words …

Hey Dave! You found me. Ha! I must warn you that I curse like a sailor and have a very irreverent sense of humor.

I’m currently homeless & my path & story is one of brokenness, healing & redemption. I raised my kids alone for 8 years (after 14 years of marriage) and then sent my oldest to college, my middle son (14) to live with his dad, broke off an engagement and gave up my 10 year old daughter to her dad (all the same father) because it was what was best for her.

My kids have ached for their dad. I’m thrilled for them to FINALLY have him caring for them excellently as he always should have.

I am here now to partner with him & raise them. He is, once again, hostile towards me, although there is no real reason to be. I am no threat.

I’m hoping to get into the OC Rescue Mission in Corona. I truly love the homeless & have never felt more at home than among them. (crazy, huh?!?) I ache for those who suffer. I understand dignity & respect. I embrace & love them as one of their own. I share their story of trauma & suffering & being worn down. I am a problem solver and a joy monger!

I have a story to tell. Many stories. I hope to become a writer and a teller of tales. Epic stories of redemption & hope. I’m living out several of them.

I wept as I read yours, because only men can minister to homeless men. I have been targeted by some of the homeless men and it simply isn’t appropriate.

But hey, I’m just THRILLED that you cared enough to notice.

I’m writing to you in my car, out of gas, in Pomona, depressed & worn out from all the effort it has taken just to see my kids and eat healthy when every free meal (I can’t complain!!!) offers me donuts or heaps of bread, when I really want broccoli or cheddar cheese or tuna or olives or something with protein, calcium, or fiber!

I haven’t showered or organized my clothes in days. And I get offered Girl Scout cookies every night. I mean, this is someone’s fantasy, but it isn’t mine! Lol.

Wow.  What can you say to that?  Elizabeth says she has written about her homeless odyssey, and is planning on writing a book about her journey.  Stories of trauma, healing, and everything in between.  Click on the photos below to see some pictures, along with her captions.    

Here’s where you come in: Would you leave Elizabeth a note of encouragement, and spread the word so that she (and others like her) know that people out there care?

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About David Rosendahl
Husband, father, co-founder of MindFireInc, two-time Inc500 software company. I love building things.

16 Responses to Elizabeth: Homeless, But Not Voiceless

  1. I love Elizabeth. She is my facebook friend. I have never met her in person, but somehow feel a kindred bond with her. She is one of the most brilliant people I know, and has the rare gift of cutthroat honesty combined with ingenious humor. Her writing and her stories captivate me each & every time. I know her book will be wildly successful. Much love & luck to you, dear Elizabeth. Keep persevering. Keep shining that light of yours, even (especially) when it’s dark.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Thank you, Shelly! I guess I better get to writing, eh?

    • Hi Shelly, thanks for stopping by! I also can’t wait for Elizabeth’s book :)

  2. Anonymous says:

    Wow – powerful honesty Elizabeth. And very brave of you to share. You obviously love your kids very much. Hang in there – you are not invisible. People DO care.

    • Hi there,

      Agreed! I’m thankful she sent this message and was willing to share. I hope that your comment brings her some encouragement. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Nellie says:

    I’ve known Elizabeth via the internet for QUITE some time now… With all of the trials and tribulations she is having to endure and face everyday… the fact that she remains so positive is beyond me. Her goofy sense of humor and silly facebook antics bring a giggle to me on the daily. She’s a little bit of nuts, a lot a bit of goofy, and a massive amount of heart all meshed into one beautiful package. Her strength inspires me. Love.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Nellie! I just wrote a reply and it got sucked away. You are a part of me now. No backsies. XXXOOO

    • Hi Nellie, thank you for your comment and kindness. It is amazing how many people Elizabeth knows and has already touched through the internet. Glad to see yet another person offering her some encouragement!

  4. Kristy Bleau says:

    Awesome! Would love to connect with Elizabeth as well! Elizabeth if you are reading… feel free to send me a friend request :) My facebook name is Kristy Belton Bleau\

  5. KindaCrunchy says:

    Elizabeth, I also cannot wait to read more about your journey! Thank you for sharing your story with us. Where do you usually stay? I would love to meet you! Maybe we could have a tuna sandwich together =)

    • Elizabeth says:

      That would be fantastic! How’s tomorrow? And do you want to take me to my OC Rescue Mission Interview? It’s at 12:30 in Corona. NO PRESSURE. LOL.

      • KindaCrunchy says:

        Shoot! I just saw this! Sorry, I’m still figuring this blogging thing out. :-/

  6. KindaCrunchy says:

    Reblogged this on Kinda Crunchy and commented:
    If you have a minute send an encouraging word to my new friend!

    • Elizabeth says:

      Well, I made it too my non-interview & it turns out that IMpatience is a virtue! HA!

      Apparently, they switched interview policies regarding Corona & pulled them back to Santa Ana, but no one informed me. I got lost in the shuffle, as it were. So by impatience, I mean, I should have called them back as many times as necessary! Those were THEIR words. But God has His timing & I see so much good ESP in just this past week!

      Before my difficulties last night at the shelter in Pomona, I had to get to Corona. My order of business was: fill gas can, jump car battery, get enough gas to get to Corona.

      •fill gas can: I felt lazy yesterday. I didn’t want to walk. I saw this very harmless & regularly mistreated, gentle man from the shelter next to his truck (what? The human pooh bear with the booming tenor, had a TRUCK?). So, I decided to take a chance. He agreed to help me. Right as I was getting into his truck he apologized, genuinely and with real disappointment. “I’m writing a book about my experience being homeless but I’m sorry. You aren’t going in it. You haven’t said anything witty or entertaining.” It was the BEST way to start my day. I was ALL in. I have 2 chapters of his book and yes, I finally said something book worthy. Sorry, you’ll just have to wait for it. Frank tells me that my book won’t ever get published. I’m just not witty or entertaining. He had me in stitches all morning. It’s THESE people that are so easy to love. Their familes have given up on them, they are easy targets, they are on disability & have enough money to care for themselves, but no life skills to do so. This is often the plight of the homeless & mentally ill. Guess what? That’s me too. I’m bipolar, type II & I have a learning disability: ADHD. I’ve fought hard to know what has plagued me since childhood & I know EXACTLY what I need & I’m fighting for it with ALL my might.
      •the battery: I’ve killed that poor thing charging my iPhone in order to keep writing all day, exactly three times now. It’s why I needed the gas can. I didn’t want to jump it without enough gas to keep it going. I’ve been helped twice by the miracle of strangers so far. This time, God nudged me to ask the fire department next to the shelter. I explained my need. How I had used the last of my gas to keep my battery charged. The supervisor helped with a gracious smile.
      •more gas: all I had left was $3.17 in my bank account that the bank wouldn’t release to me when I tried to use it to fill my tank. I used the little cash that I had to fill my can. But God knew this! It FORCED me to call my bank. They forgave me the foolish overdraft that left me with only $3.17 in my account and NOW I had enough to get a half tank of gas! I wept with relief. I told the customer service rep that he was now St John (that’s his name).

      I do have hope in the midst of all of this. God’s hand is SO clear. And what happened later in the day was so clearly the mark of the oppressor, the deceiver, the father of lies. Our Father, suffered with us through His son because of His great love for each of us & has triumphed over all deceit, forever.

      Selah.

  7. Pingback: Costa Mesa Homeless: My Time With Dave (Part 2) « Akathisia: Life In Motion — David Rosendahl

  8. Pingback: Blog Traffic Monthly Report: January 2013 « Akathisia: Life In Motion — David Rosendahl

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