A lady and her guitar
Back in February, I met a lady named Roberta. She was new to the street when I met her. She had a guitar strapped to her back so I asked her about it. Her face lit up with excitement as she began to tell me about the band she was in. She had some fond memories of her time with the band and some not so fond memories. She told me that the last gig they had the club owner wouldn’t pay them at the end of the night. She reflected on how slow the place was that evening and how the club owner tried to blame them. They informed him about how it works in this business “if you book us you pay us” regardless of how much business you have.
The band blamed Roberta because she set the gig up. They were in Tulsa, Oklahoma that night and when she woke up the next day in the hotel she was all alone. The band had abandoned her so she was left with her guitar (no strings) and a couple of bags with all her belongings and that was it. She didn’t know anybody there and the closest relative was somewhere in Fort Worth, Texas to the best of her memory. She was from Michigan just north of Grand Rapids. So she knew she needed to head to Texas quick and try to find this relative. She used almost all the money she had to buy a bus ticket to Fort Worth.
Saving vs praying
Once she was in Fort Worth, she started to try to locate her aunt and cousin at their places of work and their house but she was not able to find them. She wound up outside for a while till she could get into Presbyterian Night Shelter. She always looked so sad until you started talking to her then her face would light up. One day, I asked about the braces on her legs and she told me about the surgery she needed and the long rehab stint she would have to endure. She said she really needed to get back to Michigan for the surgery and that she was saving for a bus ticket.
Every week, I would ask for an update on her getting the money together and once she had $150 saved up I finally asked her how much the ticket cost and she told me she would need another $200 to make it there. Well, the wheels started working in my head and I knew we could get a plane ticket on Southwest Airlines for a lot cheaper than the bus ticket. I prayed about it and mentioned it to a group of people and posted something about it and was able to come up with enough money to fly Roberta home.
Recovering at home
In June I have heard that Roberta had her surgery and was staying with her brother as she recovered. She mentioned that she wanted to come and visit because she missed the nice people who came to Unity park on Fridays.
Metro Relief has a battle cry that we live by “These Things We Do That Others May Live.” We were able to help Roberta live by assisting her in getting back home to Michigan. Thanks to all of you who helped get Roberta home.
There are many like Roberta in the DFW that we help every week. Come and meet them by signing up to volunteer today!