Giving Heals the Heart and Transforms Pain into Possibilities

If it hadn’t been for my dad’s suicide, a teenage life riddled with domestic violence and my best friend dying of AIDS when we were 26, I would not have gone back to school at 35 with the pure intent to make a difference in the world.

Going back to school was only the beginning. Choosing to follow my heart led me down a path of personal restoration that exceeded my foresight.  It led me to grant writing and wordsmithing, which I had done for ages as a way to heal my heart, to encourage funding for programs that could help others.

Many years later, experience reminded me to stay focused on giving and making a difference. In June of 2017, I lost my job in the private sector. In July, as if by design, I found a position with Changing Homelessness, which resonates with my desire to inspire change.

In August, I participated in the Surge. Looking into the eyes of homelessness, I saw a reflection of myself. During those brief encounters, I asked the men and women I met where they would be for the night – if they had a home. Here’s what I didn’t expect – the number of youth that is homeless, the beautiful life stories, the man who peppered all his tales with humor (I’m sure my laughter could be heard for blocks), and the woman who counseled me on being positive and looking for the beauty in all things.

Every day, I try to focus on the good in life. Somedays it’s easy. Somedays not so much. The experience of meeting and genuinely connecting with these men and women proved a valuable reminder – all souls deserve love, respect, and especially dignity.

You and I can make a difference. We can change homelessness.

Tragedy may be the beginning of the story, but it certainly does not have to be the end. That’s my surge story. What’s yours?

Author: Monique Elton, Changing Homelessness, Inc.

1 reply

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *