Friday, March 30, 2012

Thirtieth Day of Lent: We have to do a better job with our children

Waiting for Sekou to come in and finish plans for our event tomorrow night. As he’s coming in, Rafael lets me know that someone needs to talk to me as a pastor. It’s one of the occupy women, not one who lives here right now. One who’ve I’ve been unsure about. With children. She’s very upset. And tells me her story. One deep with a painful history of childhood abuse. I call Jessica, one of our social workers,  who promises she will be there for her.
This has begun to be an all too familiar story. Perhaps it’s not surprising that an amazing number of the young occupiers who have come here from around the country, both female and male, have histories of abuse. What my friend Jed, who used to run the Larkin Street Mission in the Tenderloin in San Francisco, used to call not runaway kids, but throwaway kids. Abused by parents, relatives, driven away from home for psychic survival. Part of what Kelly called the poverty diaspora of America. Over the decades they’ve shown up in the Haight and Greenwich Villages, in the Lower East Side Rent era early 90’s squats, and now Occupy. They find each other, support one anther, find a way to care for one another. We have to find a better way to care for our children.
Sekou is working with Rafael to outline security needs. We’re hustling to order books. Hope and Donna and a whole occupy crew are vacuuming and cleaning everything. The tension and stress is building.
Jamie is working with Danielle to dig out old building reports to help with the 
insurance issues. Two visitors come in to just have a look. Teddy is feeling like he needs a break, maybe a real bed for awhile. Rafael is putting his crew together, he takes great pride in doing what he does well.
Walking by late at night, on my way home, I hang and talk with Teddy and Req and Rose and Chris and Rafael awhile. Req is working on a plan to have movies nights, maybe two a week. Maybe one classics night and one 99% movie night for topical films. With soft drinks and popcorn. He’s also creating for us a QR barcode for the Center and the Church. I still need to figure that out.
Walking home. Abused children on my mind.

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