John Farley

John Farley

Thank you to Lammé and Associates.

In 1987, twenty years before Father John Farley became pastor of Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Grand Junction, Farley began a project in the streets of Denver. He was doing a week-long “urban immersion” program with Outward Bound. In this program he was partnered up with a friend, given ten dollars, and with only the coat on his back was told, “Okay, see you in three days!”

For the next three days Farley experienced the reality of living homeless on the streets of a major city.

“Of course, I knew I would be back to life after three days,” said Farley, “but if I were to have collapsed in on myself, even getting from soup kitchen to shelter would have been very difficult.”

Farley never thought that that experience over 25 years ago would have such pertinent meaning now in his community in Grand Junction.

“It’s possible to live on the streets in a place like Denver; there are enough services to make it possible,” he said. “But in Grand Junction, we have services for adults, for families, and for little kids; but there’s also this group of kids who aren’t little kids. They can’t go back to their home because they’ll most likely end up back on the streets again. They can’t be housed with adults in homeless shelters. Not many of them have friends that can take them in for more than a night or two. So where do these kids fit? What kind

of services are available for this kind of population? The House is an answer to that.”

The situation of homeless teens in Mesa County is one that has “pulled on the heartstrings” of Farley since he read an article about it and became a Guardian of The House. The primary issue these teens face, according to Farley, is stability.

“It’s amazing the power of stability in people’s lives,” he said. “If you can provide a place for people that’s stable, then people can land there, can discover a sense of home, a sense of family. That stability gives them the ability, then, to move on. The instability just crashes them in on themselves. It’s such a struggle to provide for your needs when you don’t have a stable place. If The House provides those things, The House provides a lot.”

That concept of stability hits close to home for Farley, who, shortly after college, fell into an unstable situation himself.

“The place where I was renting was being sold, and I got this final notice on Monday that I needed to be out by the end of the week,” said Farley. “I had a degree, so I had all the academic skills, but none of the life skills for moving ahead. I had the generosity of friends that let me stay here, stay there, but I couldn’t figure out how to have the conversation: ‘John, how are we going to fix this?’ I can’t imagine being in that situation as a teenager. A place like The House could have been a place to provide that conversation. ‘This is what you need to know, John, and this is how you do it.’”

The potential for meeting such needs for people in such unstable circumstances moved Farley to become a Guardian.

“A hundred bucks a year just did not seem like an impossible amount of money,” Farley said. “And with so many of these kids, homelessness is just one problem in their life. But if we can address the homelessness, if we can provide a place that’s stable, then we can begin dealing with the other issues.”

Farley also has a special word to those considering becoming a Guardian as achat viagra belgique quebec well.

“You gotta go back in your own memories, to that horrendously insecure time when you were a teenager,” he said. “Consider how that would’ve worked without a home, without a family. Think through your own insecurity at that time in your life. How could you possibly have what you have today without that?”

If you would like to learn more about The House or becoming a Guardian, please visit www.thehousegj.org.

Story provided by Robert Lamme and Associates.

 

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