“Rachel’s Gift is an 8 part series until December 23. To listen to the audio backgrounder, click: Rachel’s Gift episode 5 If you missed episodes go to ‘Recent Posts’ (right hand column)..
I was on the streets and my boyfriend took me to some of the drop ins in the city. He took me to the OIM drop in – I didn’t even know there was a drop in there. It was pretty cool.
I came to the OIM office probably about two years ago. It must have been Christmas or something, because the spread you guys had out on the table was awesome. We had lots and lots of food. It was really, really cool.
I started to come to the drop in all the time, and one day Jason [youth outreach worker] came up to me and said, “Hey would you be interested in coming to our youth art program?” When he talked to me, he actually got through to me. It was like, hey, somebody actually cared for me.
The next youth event was the art show at the church. It was really cool. I saw all the stuff the kids were doing, how happy they were, it was really cool. I didn’t know that about them. I knew them from the street but I didn’t know that there was anything like this art group.
There isn’t anything else out there like this.
I started going to the art group all the time. It is so different from the life on the street. The street life is drugs, drugs, and more drugs. At the art group there is something so real, like its real life. I haven’t seen that in a long time, probably ever. It’s just like normal everyday kids. You don’t see normal everyday kids on the streets.
I go to the art group all the time. I look forward to it. When I come to the office on Thursdays (work skills program), I don’t even go back home in case I fall asleep and miss art group. So I just stay downtown until art group.
I am so looking forward to the next art show. I haven’t been able to show any of my art yet. I have a couple of pieces, maybe three. My mom’s really looking forward to coming and my brother too.
It has made a big difference in the last couple of months.
It makes me think, ‘Yeah, I can do this’.
Next Week: Amazed at how she has been accepted into the community, Rachel shares her feelings about finally belonging to a community of caring people.