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Category: Testimonies
Topic: A Slice of Life and a Little Blue Pill at Joy Junction

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Comment Author Comment Text

Member Since:

I have read Under the Overpass" and as someone engaged in full time rescue ministry to the homeless for the last 23 years, I really appreciated the book.

I thought you may like to read this article.

Many regards

Jeremy Reynalds
Founder and Executive Director
Alb., N.M.

Have you ever wondered about life behind the scenes at a homeless shelter? Not what you get to see on those special “open house” days when the shelter puts its proverbial best foot forward, but that typical every day life.

In early 2002 I spent some time observing “a slice of life” at Joy Junction, New Mexico's largest emergency homeless shelter, of which I am founder and executive director. The result, “A Slice of Life and a Little Blue Pill at Joy Junction” was first published in mid 2002.

I decided to reissue this article because even though some time has passed and Joy Junction has become busier than ever, the events you'll read about in this piece are still a very accurate representation of life at Joy Junction – and maybe many other rescue missions nationwide.

Please note that for continuity of the story I have condensed the observation times into a couple of days, when they were in fact longer. However, everything else is just as it occurred..

A Slice of Life and a Little Blue Pill at Joy Junction.

It's 3.20 p.m. on a relatively calm Sunday afternoon in the main building of Joy Junction.
A pregnant guest holding a baby is distraught about the recent abandonment of five children at Joy Junction. (The kids ended up being placed in foster care). She says, “I just want to go out and find that woman. But my husband says ‘Maybe she was suicidal so perhaps the kids are in a better place.'” I ponder briefly their vastly different reaction to the abandonment.

A man with physical and mental problems staggers into the office and says, “I hate channel four,” (the NBC affiliate). Someone asks him why and the man replies, “Because they always cut out.”

Just as the channel four hater is staggering out of the office, a Joy Junction staffer comes in. He's casually dressed in a plaid shirt with a blue undershirt and blue jeans, with hair sticking up. He asks the shelter pastor, “That girl you had at the movies. Was she 18?”

“No, she was in her mid 50's,” responds the counselor.

“Okay, just trying to scare you,” says the parking lot attendant. That's typical humor at Joy Junction. I've heard that humor like this is a coping mechanism that often shows up in environments like ours.

A few minutes later I hear a snippet from a sad conversation drifting out of a neighboring office. “He drinks too much and he's already hit her.”

It's now 4.30 p.m., and dinner is well under way. Most people are sitting down eating their evening meal but about a dozen or so are still standing in the servin

Posted: 2005-06-03 17:06:00

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