We spent the last three weeks with our 20-year-old daughter Sondra, swimming with manatees, visiting museums and laughing together. Nothing special about that, except it was in stark contrast to the lives of the teens we met today at Covenant House in New Orleans. Covenant house works day and night to provide shelter and support for kids who have endured lives of abuse, neglect, and homelessness. In 2008, Covenant House provided services to more than 70,000 of these kids.
Allan and I met some of those kids as we distributed shoes for Soles4Souls. One 14- year-old came in without socks, wearing old shoes. The temperature has been in the mid 20’s this last week and she was homeless…with her one month old baby. Later, a boy with the most engaging smile was thrilled with his new boots. He told me, “I can’t believe this generosity. I have a new pair of shoes! This is way better than what I had at Christmas”. The caseworker told me he recently came to Covenant House because his middle-class parents threw him out. It was all I could do not to invite him along on our RV tour! Because of the cold weather, Covenant House is open in the next few days to homeless families. The staff assured me hundreds of additional people will be getting high quality, warm shoes as they attempt to survive in these hard times.