“I felt like I was triumphing over the pain (this woman had) caused me. I had been a victim, but after I told the story I began to feel victorious. Each time I tell the story, it loses its power over my life..” Brenda
Through my work with Public Voice at City Mission Society (www.cmsboston.org), I have been privileged to join Boston’s clergy in their response to the homelessness crisis in Boston. Following the closing of the Long Island Bridge last October, Boston’s homeless lost access to 600 shelter beds and two important detox programs. Since then, Boston clergy have been meeting cross-denominationally to discuss and respond to the growing needs of Boston’s homeless citizens through this ruthless winter. The result is “Boston Warm” (www.Bostonwarm.weebly.com).
As one of Boston Warm’s initiatives, Public Voice has been providing story support and outreach to “guests” who have been utilizing the newly formed day shelters temporarily set up in the basements of two Boston churches. Through storytelling training, Public Voice has been supporting “guests” to tell their stories and share them with area congregations who have been generous with donations. The goal has been to put a human face on homelessness. For those who share their stories, it is a chance to be witnessed, heard and know that their stories matter.
To see the impact of a homeless storyteller on one congregation, please enjoy the following blog written by Reverend Phil LaBelle of the St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Southborough, MA. You can go to: www.ramblingpriest.com/when-a-homeless-person-came-to-church/ or continue to read below!
Creating a Storytelling Program with the Formerly Incarcerated