Mary’s Interview

Tell us a little about yourself and your time living in Englewood.  It’s been an adventure. I’m originally from the Lawndale neighborhood. I had to move here to be by relatives after my father passed away, lost my job, and my unemployment benefits ran out. The landlord has been generous and allowed me to stay during these hard times. Shepherd’s Hope and The Way are a God send! Today, you are looking at it. This is the only meal I will have today here at the Family Feeding Center. Without this meal I would have nothing to eat today. The other food pantries are far away, making it difficult for me to get there. The food here is delicious. All the people here are kind-hearted to everyone who comes in the door. This environment is very rare in the community. Also, there is ministerial help given from a Biblical perspective.

What impact has the Family Feeding Center had on you?   The Family Feeding Center has provided me with new friends. I don’t know where I would be without this ministry. I have also received clothes, always with a kind word. This is a place that I look forward to the most. It doesn’t just feed me physically but spiritually. I’m reminded of scripture: Psalms 5:12 (KJV) “For thou, Lord, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield.”

How would you define a good community?  People who are willing to help you out, but at the same time they give you the freedom to decide how and when to assist. In a good neighborhood people would make themselves available to help others. Unity is very important. People need to come together under one common denominator.  Also, it’s important for everyone to take care of their space by keeping everything nice and livable. The community needs to work together to build, team work must happen on every level.

What would you like to see happen in Englewood during this next year?  Well, recently my building was broken into and they stole the heating radiators and piping right out of the building. I dream of the day when crime doesn’t exist and there are no drugs flowing in, out or on the streets of the neighborhood, a day when every foreclosed building is protected from vandals and quickly sold to new owners to keep the property values stable. Then for the kids, a solid after school program with a wide variety of activities tailored to meet their learning needs.

What community responsibility do you see yourself doing during this next year?  To continue to help out at the food pantry. I would like to spend more time sitting down and talking with people, like yourself, about our current situation and how to build up the community. I’ve been on the Internet lately to study work ethics in different parts of the world to understand what will inspire Englewood to work hard, with a purpose. The streets provide a quick profit but one’s character and identity dies just as quickly. I would like to inspire others to work hard at volunteering to start the slow process of building up their character and identity slowly. This will build a foundation for them to interview well for a good job in the future.

Anything else you would like to share with others in the community?  I actually thank God for the situation I’m in right now. These experiences money can’t buy!

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