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1 - Homeless and Prostitutes Find Hard Love Haven

1 - Homeless and Prostitutes Find Hard Love Haven

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Published by Todd Svanoe
Want this kind of writing or photography for your publication or newsletter? Give me a call: 612-578-2292
Want this kind of writing or photography for your publication or newsletter? Give me a call: 612-578-2292

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Published by: Todd Svanoe on Nov 03, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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10/29/2012

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The
People's
Exchange:
A
helpful
haven
O
n a
brisk winter morning,with
all of his
worldlybelongings tucked beneaththe seat of an abandoned car, Edawakens, unlocksthedoorandclimbs
out
from
under
his
pile
of
sevenblankets. Seven is the number ofblankets
that
homeless people
find
they
need
to
survive
a
bitter coldnight
in
Minnesota.
Ed's
first
stop:
McDonalds on LakeStreet,to seewhat timeit is. He
feels
sober enough today to make it
to his
favorite
haven,
People'sExchange
at the
Urban VenturesLeadership
Foundation,
for a
needed
respite
and another dose of tenderloving care.
Like
a schoolboy who hopesmom packed his lunchbox withsomething good, Ed has one culinaryhopethat today's meal willbehot.
He
asks the server to rest the plate on the table so he can slide it off, workingaround
the
welts
and
open sores
on his
cracked fingers. People
who
know
him
best have learned
to
greet hint with
a hug
rather than
a
handshake.
Other
visitors,who mayhaveawakened in warm homes, come
seeking
ano-less critical linkto a
self-sustainable
life.
Living
at the
margins.
A
down-cast African-American man
arrives
early at People'sExchange, seeking a job; aNative-American mother, childrenintow, asksforhelp with
rent
toavoid
eviction.A
Latino mother
and
childare first-time visitors.
They
lookreticent, but they
feel
the warmwelcome
of hot
coffee
and
danishes served in the waitingarea. Later
a
translator
I
arrives
and the
mother cracksabroad, thankful smile.People's Exchangeprovides emergencyassistance, includingeverything
from
groceriesto
health
items,
clothes to appliances, and
beds
to
furniture,
to
more
than
200
people who come through every
Tuesday
and Thursday morning.
Thanks
to
faithful
donors, our guestsreceived
200
Thanksgiving
and
Christmas baskets in 2003.
Friends through tragedy.
Old
friends
coming by today include themother and grandmother of Tyesha
Edwards,
the
12-year-old
girltragically
killed
by a
stray bullet
one
year
ago. Her
mother
and father aremoving,inpart,tohealthememoriesassociated with their home's baywindow where their straight-Astudent sat doing homework withher sister on
that
fateful
day.
"My
kids' mattresses,
my
bed,our
end
tables
and
Mom's dryer
and
stove all came
from
People's

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