- How long have you been on the team and how did you meet LEFSA?
I became part of the LEFSA team in 2016. I met LEFSA at Boulevard Men’s Shelter. LEFSA had been coming to the Boulevard for a while. I saw the gatherings but never participated. But I always heard what they were saying.
One day I was invited to the group by one of the ladies. She invited me and said I didn’t have to say anything if I didn’t want to. I thought that was cool, and I sat down at the group. The topic was faith.
Something happened that day. I got in touch with myself and took a good inventory of myself. I wasn’t practicing my faith. I didn’t realize how much time had passed me by. Here I am in a shelter and it (faith) had always been a part of my life. I didn’t think there was light at the end of the tunnel, but that day I walked out feeling a little bit better about myself and my situation, and it has given me the courage to start confronting my situation.
- Did you have any prior work or volunteer experience before LEFSA you want to mention?
I used to do HIV testing and harm reduction.
- What do you do on the team?
I go to shelters, mainly spreading the message that what God did for me, he will do for them. Not all the time is spent giving that message… I’ve learned it’s sometimes better just to listen. I do a lot of listening. And we do a lot of eating and laughing with the community.
- What does LEFSA mean to you/why is LEFSA special?
It’s everything to me. LEFSA is my family. LEFSA is a way of life. I can’t see my life without LEFSA, it’s become such a part of me. It means family.
- Do you have a memory of LEFSA you want to share?
My first men’s retreat. It was the first time in a long time I was able to be around men, just men, talking about men’s issues… and boy did I have a lot of them. But I was able, with the help of men around me, to assess my life, and I did a lot of shedding that day. I went up there with a lot of baggage and came back very light. In fact, I came back a new person. Being around men and not having a fear of being judged, and letting me know that I was not alone.