FiftyFive was possibly the most important, informative, and life changing event our church has been a part of yet. It would be difficult to not be moved by the stories of the individuals and families that we encountered along the way... the stories are incredible, and were put into even more perspective when the reality of how hard just 55 hours of living on the streets was. Our entire team agreed, non of us could imagine what it would be like to have to do that 24 hours a day, every day of the week.
Over the next couple months we will continue to share stories with you, as we finish putting together the 30 minute documentary that we are going to release at the end of the winter based on our experience. In the meantime, we have pulled together a handful of clips from the interviews, to give you a brief window into the lives the people we came in contact with during FiftyFive.
Consider these short videos to be introductions into the amazing lives that were willing to share their stories. Theirs, and others will all be told in our short film.
Debra recognized the importance of food distribute and public feeding. She makes the statement "You are not just handing out food" because she recognizes the public feeding as a doorway to community transformation, by first meeting the needs of the people. Her story is incredible. Instead of telling people how to live, she did her best to make sure that people were safe, no matter what they were doing.
This man's story will melt your heart, you can watch his introduction directly below, or at the bottom of the page you can hear his Christmas wishes in our "A Home for Christmas" preview section of the documentary. He spends his days collecting cans, and his nights sleeping on the subway.
When we met Kelly, she was living in a shelter for young mothers with small children. She has big plans for her life, and is determined to not be defined by her current circumstances.
Lori hopes that others can learn from her mistakes. Broken down by drugs and a series of devastating events as a result, she lost everything and hopes that young people hear her story, and do not follow in her footsteps.
As an experiment, we all sat on street corners on the upper east side holding signs that said "I am not homeless, but 55,000 others in this city are." Though many passed us by without even a second look, many others who actually took the time to stop and talk to us were shocked by the numbers, and how easily it could happen to someone.
"A Home for Christmas" is our first attempt at reflecting... looking back on the stories that we heard. On the way that we spent our Christmas's just days after this "life changing" event, in comparison with the way our new friends spent the most wonderful day of the year. The video below is the longest available clip from our journey during those 55 hours, until we release the 30 minute documentary later this winter.
We are going to respond to this huge need, by opening up a long-term housing facility. This is our number one goal for 2014. Follow us on all of our social sites and keep checking back on our website for more information on our plans.