Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the 51 year old Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church of Detroit. Piety Hill refers to the old name for our neighborhood. The neighborhood has changed a great deal in the over 150 years we have been on this corner (but not our traditional biblical theology) and it is now known for the neighboring theatres, the professional baseball and football stadiums and new hockey/basketball arena.

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Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Hope from Mariner's Inn

Mariner's Inn is an agency of the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan, and a neighbor to St. John's - just over the freeway and a few blocks down west. Thanks be to God for the work of Mariner's Inn.
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HOPE FOR THE HOLIDAYS
Homeless men give their all
Shelter's residents help 3 families
December 22, 2007
BY BEN SCHMITT
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER
Williette Dean's Santa Clauses came in the guise of an ex-heroin user, a former crack addict, an alcoholic and more.
Dean, 46, has six kids, ages 2 to 15, at home. She's been down on her luck since an injury temporarily put her in a wheelchair.
Advertisement"By the time I got things straight, I had lost a home, a car, a job and whatever," she said. "At this point I can't earn what I used to earn."
Dean is putting it back together and working as a youth home supervisor. But money's tight and times are tough.
On Friday, she wept and shouted for joy as a group of homeless men piled presents for her and her family on a table during a Christmas celebration.
"I just want to say: Thank you," Dean said. "We're strong just to be standing here now."
The homeless men, recovering from various addictions at the Mariners Inn shelter and treatment center on Cass in Detroit, banded together to raise money for clothing, toys and baby items for three families. The families were chosen with the help of Hope Community Baptist Center, which is across the street from Mariners.
David Sampson, interim director of Mariners, said the men raised $1,400 for presents and about $3,600 worth of donated gifts. They sought donations in many ways including at narcotics anonymous meetings and through a media campaign.
Another mother, Kenyetta Day, 37, ran out of the room crying shortly after receiving gifts. She composed herself and returned to offer her gratitude.
"No, I can't do it on my own and I thank God and thank you Mariners Inn," she said.
Later, she was still stunned.
. "I'm just so outdone that these men came together to see about me and my family," she said. "It's not even the gifts on my table. It's that they thought about people like me."
Richard Drewery, 57, a recovering heroin addict, brought the room of about 50 to tears as he spoke to 19-year-old mother Darlynn Little about his struggles. He told a story about a time when he took money for his then 5-year-old daughter's Christmas presents and spent it on drugs.
"Darlynn ... I took her Christmas from her," he said. "Remember this. And take it from me: Drugs and alcohol kill. There's a price.
"I'm doing this not only for you. I'm doing this for me, too. I don't know if I'm trying to make up for all the wrong I've done."