Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Like My Community

Vote for our partner agency, Family Gateway in Liberty Mutual Insurance's Like My Community Project contest!  The project is designed to honor the people and organizations that are doing the right thing all over Dallas-Fort Worth.  Family Gateway has been nominated for the chance to receive $30,000 in support of programs for homeless children and families.  You can vote for your favorite organization on the Liberty Mutual Dallas Facebook page at until August 20, or text LMDAL to 61698 for a second vote per day.    

What’s in it for The Stewpot, you ask?  The Stewpot has a minority interest partnership with Family Gateway to develop EVERgreen Family Residences, to be located at 1701 Canton (one block from Dallas City Hall).    The housing project would provide 130 units of permanent and short-term supportive housing for children of families in need of housing, serving a total of 325 residents.  The Stewpot will be part of the supportive services network for the families.  More information can be found at

Friday, June 22, 2012

Dee's Voice

The Representative Payee program at the Stewpot helps those who are not able to manage their Social Security funds.  We assist with finding housing, making sure all bills are paid on time, and the client’s basic needs are met.  Prior to today we had 43 clients in our Payee program.  Today I am glad to say we now have 42.
Dee came into my office 3 months ago confused, anxious, and scared.  When she would speak her words were not clear.  This time, Dee has been homeless a minimum of 6 months.  Dee has faced many obstacles in her life, such as schizophrenia, and homelessness had become a way of life for her.  Dee received Social Security but was unable to receive any funds without a dependable Representative Payee.  She was referred to our Payee program, where our beautiful relationship began.
After several weeks of meeting we developed a trust with one another and Dee’s speech had become easier to understand.  The more our relationship grew, the easier it became to communicate.  The more we met the more I was able to communicate her self-worth that started with shaking hands, to hugging goodbye. 
After 2 months in our program it was apparent that Dee was forgetful and seemed to be unable to clean herself.  I was excited to hear that she was open to the idea of being paired up with a care center that would then bathe, feed, and house her.  She was interviewed in my office, and shortly thereafter I was informed that she did not qualify for their level of care.  I was discouraged.
Some will always be homeless.  I didn’t want that for Dee, but I had to try to understand.
Two weeks later Dee enters my office.  Something was different. Her eyes were filled with new kind of sadness.  Her eyes pierced my heart deep.  We talked about hygiene and housing.  It was then revealed that she did not shower, because she feared all her clothes would be stolen while she was in the shower, a very tough reality in her world.  Dee was ready, ready to move on and move off the streets, she was desperate. She pleaded, begged. 
That day I was able to pair her with a group home that is above and beyond honorable.  Dee was taken to the house to see if she would be interested in living there.  When Dee arrived back in my office her words were clear and her eyes sparkled when she came back to tell me that she “loves it!” 
After living in her new home for 3 weeks now she continues to speak clear and smile more than I have ever seen.  Her hair is dyed, her clothes are clean, and her smile is constant.  We laugh together now, and when we embrace it is something of meaning and depth.  She is now singing Praises to the Lord at Church in front of her new church family.
She went from having no voice, to singing praising to our her King.
-Sonnie Kinsey

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Thank you Dr. Wood!

For several years people experiencing homelessness were able to come to The Stewpot to get eyeglasses. Dr. Tom Wood spent 3 Wednesday afternoons a month here giving eye exams and eyeglass prescriptions - a huge need. In May Dr. Wood retired. Yesterday we celebrated the work and time he's spent here. In true Stewpot style we had a potluck in our birthday room and enjoyed sharing memories. At the end, Rev. Dr. Bruce Buchanan made a special presentation to Dr. Wood and his wife, Dorothy. We were able to get Dr. Wood some new Stewpot brand prescription glasses (see below) along with a chalk drawing of glasses with the reflection of street life in the lenses by one of the original Stewpot artists. The sweetest gift, though, was a poem written by one of our clients as an entry into one of our talent shows. The poem shows just how important Dr. Wood has been to The Stewpot and the people we serve.


Two heads, four legs and no face I can see,
Just up ahead and its coming at me.
I’ll make my escape, looking left to right,
Full speed onward such is my fright.
The cause of my anguish and of my despair,
I broke my glasses and have no other pair.
Times are troubling with jobs hard to find,
This is the last thing I need on my mind.
But then I’m told there’s help I can get,
It’s provided for free and is my best bet.

Where of all places could this help be got?
Of course, at our friendly, neighborhood Stewpot
My options are few since I have no income,
I’m told not to worry, something can be done.
I got my new glasses in just a few days,
For the Stewpot I have nothing but praise.
They took care of my without a great fuss,
To the world I now see You Look Marvelous.

-Submitted by Queenzetta Jenkins for the 16th Annual Stewpot Talent Show, 10/28/04

Rev. Dr. Bruce Buchanan reading "You Look Marvelous".

Presenting the artwork to Dr. Wood and his wife, Dorothy.

 Dr. Wood modeling his new glasses.