Our paths first crossed three years ago. He was picked up by the police one night and someone from Proniño happened to pass by. His options were go to jail for wandering outside without papers or Proniño. Proniño it was! Quiet, polite, well-behaved and gone within a few weeks.
When I started spending more time on the streets a few months after that, I’d often find him. We would talk about what he was doing and what his options were, but he was a part-time street kid. Juggling at stoplights while drivers waited for the light to change or washing the windows of the cars as people flipped on their windshield wipers or yelled at him to go away. Sleeping at his house in a nearby slum. I’d talk about a home, safety, an education. He’d talk about his family, his family, his family. They were a package deal.
Can my family come to Proniño? No? Then I’m staying here to make as much money as I can for them to eat. It’s hard to argue with commitment and loyalty.
But even more interesting is that he remained drug free for years.
How can I communicate how amazing this is? It’s like….Hmm…Think about if…Well….Ok, you’ll just have to take my word for it. Without fail, I’d be with a group of kids that badly needed haircuts, had been wearing the same clothes for days (weeks?) who were all swaying slightly and then him. Clean, bright eyed and often sporting hair gel.
It was amazing.
Until it ended.
About a year ago, he started huffing glue and it was like he was trying to make up for all the times he had said no in the past years. He went from attentive soberness without fail to consistently being so high that he could barely keep his eyes open. And then the begging started.
“Take me to Proniño.”
Ugh. Child. I so badly wish I could. I so badly wish you had come back with me a few years ago when you still would have been accepted. But now? No longer an option. And when Jilli or I go to the streetlight where he works, we chat with him and then hone in on the kids that we could usher into the car the moment that a desire from Proniño escapes their lips.
This is where I become so grateful that there are more street outreach workers than just Jilli.
That there are more homes than just Proniño.
On Monday we found out that he is leaving the street.
(My heart swells with excitement as I type!)
He is going to a very small home that, seeing as it’s in a house, has such a wonderful family feel. But they’re full. I love it when full doesn’t actually mean full per se. But what full does mean is “We can comfortably support the kids that are in the house…but no more.” So when a home takes in an additional child they’re saying “Dagnabit we don’t know how we’re going to make this work, but a child who is serious about leaving the street is a child who is serious about leaving the street. Sooo…..whaddaya gonna do?” According to this home, you take him in.
But, when they announced that they were taking him in, they also announced that they needed donations for a bed and ‘something to put clothes in’.
Man oh man do I want taking a picture of him on his new bed or putting folded clothes into his dresser to be one of the things I do while I’m in Honduras for the next two weeks.
Would you be willing to support this home that is stretching itself thin in order to assure that a child is safe?
And this child who starting this long road to recovery?
They need $250 to buy a bed and dresser.
Only $250 for a bed AND a dresser!
(I had a hard time decided what to capitalize and highlight..)
If you want to help make sure he has a comfy place to sleep and somewhere to store his few belongings, please click here and donate in the general category!