Patrick as Saint?

Photo of Giant's Causeway, with its extremely unique geological formations.

Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland. Image by Herbert Bieser from Pixabay

A friend of mine Patrick, born and named from St. Patrick’s Day, is one of the reasons I got involved in Street Sense. He impressed me in talking to homeless people, even as we were walking out of a restaurant in his neighborhood after celebrating his birthday. I met him in a support group meeting, which is now defunct. I introduced him to the local community organizing alternative mental health known as consumer operated drop-in centers. 

He took on the difficult jobs and became the chair of the local nonprofit board. As time passed and I was active elsewhere, he ‘saved his pennies’ and bought a new car despite having difficulties with driving in the past. 

As an older gentleman and former military, he was a slight man with more wisdom, respect and patience than most people I’ve ever known. 

He passed away during difficult personal and organizational financial times so afterwards, I started keeping his memory alive, in part, by talking directly with homeless at Street Sense and participating in the newly starting Writer’s Group about a year and a half ago. Besides green beer, reckless binge drinking and a celebration of Irish history, that is how I remember St. Patrick’s Day. 

Jerry volunteers with Writer’s Group. contains many of his rants on Mental Health and other issues. 

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We believe ending homelessness begins with listening to the stories of those who have experienced it.