The Rapidian

Letter from Marge Palmerlee on importance of gathering

I recently read that Vivek Murthy, the former U.S. Surgeon General, said the greatest health crisis in our country is not cancer or heart disease or obesity. It is isolation!
Marge with Karen and Kristie on a Patron Outing

Marge with Karen and Kristie on a Patron Outing

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I recently read that Vivek Murthy, the former U.S. Surgeon General, said the greatest health crisis in our country is not cancer or heart disease or obesity. It is isolation!

This is a startling revelation and a heartbreaking reality that I witness every day. I often hear from someone who is experiencing homelessness for the first time that they “feel so alone,” and I see it in the look of sur­prise when I call someone by name and those walls of isolation begin to crumble.

We are called and compelled by Jesus to love one another. In John 13:34, Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” At Dégagé, one way we reflect the love of Christ is by providing a community where ALL are welcomed and treated with dignity and respect. We have found that when someone feels valued and accepted, they are much more likely to set goals, move forward, and overcome barriers.

In addition to creating a welcoming environment at Dégagé, another important way that we build community is through special outings. An outing the patrons always look forward to is a trip to Lake Michigan. Karen, pictured above with me and Kristie at the lake, says, “I always look forward to going to the beach and spend­ing time with my friends away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life in the city.” The outings not only break the monotony of poverty, they are an important part of instilling hope.

Will you consider partnering with us by sponsoring an outing and helping break down the walls of isolation? You never know the difference it will make in someone’s life!

Written by Marge Palmerlee, Executive Director

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