Remember when I mentioned the lady on the roof trying to raise money? Well, almost two weeks later, Carol is still up on the roof, still raising money and sharing her heart for organizations that help women better themselves. Her own organization, Fabric of Life, is a fantastic organization that has done amazing work with child beggars and street workers in Africa. These women have learned new skills that allow them to be earners instead of beggars. To have purpose rather than shame.
On Tuesday, Pastor Marcia and I took two women from Mary’s Place out to Edmonds to meet with Carol on the Roof. We took leftovers from a meal prepared at Mary’s Place – a special for the day, french toast and bacon, along with a mug of hot coffee. We got to Edmonds and to the Fabric of Life store, and Barb, bless her heart, was the first to conquer her fear of heights and tackle that ladder. Slick from the recent rain, Barb gripped the edges, as Carol extended her hand over the edge to help her with that last step. With all four of us finally up on the roof, Carol welcomed us to her “home.” An impressive set up with sleeping quarters, a table and even a bathroom!
We had a delightful visit with Carol. She was so interested in hearing the stories of Barb and Cassie, who were both eager to share their unique stories of their journies through homelessness. As Cassie and Barb shared, I noticed tears in Carol’s eyes. She was so moved by their honesty and their determination. Come spend 10 minutes with the women of Mary’s Place, you’ll be moved to tears as well.
Cassie shared that one of the most difficult parts of being homeless was the way that people treat you as though you are invisible. “On the street, people look right through you, if they look at you at all. It makes you feel less than human. Like a freak.” Carol gasped, and said how one of the girls in her Fabric of Life program had said nearly the exact same thing, when talking about begging on the streets of Africa. Around the world, women everywhere are faced with these feelings of failure, dejection and isolation. But around the world, women everywhere, women like Carol, are working to make these women and children feel worthy and needed.
We left the roof, Carol waving goodbye and encouraging us, “don’t look down!” as we made our way back down the ladder. A shared experience. The bringing together of different causes, different stories, different hearts. Cassie and Barb both said how meaningful the experience was – to hear what Carol was doing, what the women in Africa were doing, to get out of Seattle and see what else is going on in this world.
We’re all in this together. This growing and surviving and struggling and hoping. Together we can make it.
To read Carol’s take on our visit, check this out!