William* was one of the first homeless guys I met this summer. It was during staff training and we were at Salvation Army under the bridge. I actually was talking to another guy when William asked if he knew me. I had not met him before so I said no, introduced myself and then introduced one of the other hosts who was beside me. It just so happened to be one of the boys and William instantly made fun of me for introducing him and not letting “the man be a man and a southern gentlemen.” Well, this somehow led to William making fun of me and me putting up with it…which really was my way in with a lot of the homeless…apparently I’m really easy to make fun of.
William ended up being one of my favorite friends this summer. He was always polite, always cared about how I was doing and how my groups were doing. He would gladly talk with any kid I sent his way as long as I spent a good chunk of time talking with him as well. It was kinda our deal, and it worked about wonderfully. William and his buddies referred to each other as family. This group welcomed me in as part of their family and really did look out for me.
Today my awesome roommate (and CSM New York City host) Jessica and I were eating lunch together in the student union. We both just kinda looked at each other and sighed. Eating our granola bars and peanut butter apples was not as satisfying as soup kitchen food with friends like William. We aren’t sure what we are doing at school this year except that God is going to use it somehow. But today we both just kinda missed our summer homes and friends like William.
-Jody Glazner, CSM Nashville City Host Summer 2009