Homeless In San Diego – Pray For Pixie

Andrew and I had the opportunity to take Pixie to get checked into the Volunteers of America (VOA) Detox facility this morning.   Andrew met Pixie a few years ago on the streets of La Jolla and has gotten to know her and care for her as much as he could.  With a four month waiting list at the homeless shelter and a two week detox program prerequisite for entrance, the reality of getting Pixie off the street seemed far off.  With only 6 beds available for woman at the detox facility you can imagine it is not exactly easy to get one.  Thankfully, after weeks of calling every morning at 6:30a.m. Andrew finally got the green light from them this morning to bring her down.  At least with the detox program underway Pixie would be one step closer to getting into the shelter.  It was an eye opening learning experience for me as we both jumped in the car still groggy from waking up just moments before and set out looking for Pixie. At first we were not able to find her but then I peeked under a hedge and saw two skinny legs tucked into a pair of donated Ugg boots just steps away:) Pixie was thrilled when we told her the news that they had a spot for her. She kept saying, “It’s time for a new start, gotta sober up and I just can’t wait to be warm.”Our first stop was the Emergency Room at the UCSD hospital in Hillcrest. We were here for a few hours as they checked her out, asked a load of questions about her history and then gave her a tray of food to help settle her stomach from the first dose of detox pills.  I couldn’t help but laugh as she dumped 6 packets of sugar into her cereal…however, I can’t judge because I put a spoonful of peanut butter in my cereal:)  Along with getting sober she also plans on putting some meat on her bones. As I was helping her butter her muffin and slathering it silly with butter I told her she was a lucky girl to be able to enjoy a muffin heaped with so much butter Pixie really is skin and bones…no wonder she was unable to get warm despite the many layers of clothing she put on. Looking at her lying in the hospital bed I couldn’t help but think if this was my mom I would want someone to help her if I was unable to. It just breaks your heart to think that they don’t have family and friends to come alongside them and help them.I sat back and watched as each nurse and doctor approached our room in the ER and attended to Pixie. I was pleasantly surprised when each one treated her with the level of kindness and care I believe they would extend to anyone from any walk of life laying in the bed before then. I will be honest and say that it is not the easiest thing to be in an extremely close proximity with someone who doesn’t smell clean and who might be sick or infected with something that could spread. As many know, I have an EXTREMELY sensitive sniffer and I prayed my heart out that I would be able to support and love Pixie despite the odors assaulting my nose. You kind of have to take a step back before walking into a situation like this and tell yourself you are not going to die if you get lice or walk away smelling like something rather unpleasant.  Encourage yourself to resist the urge to pick up their belongings with tongs and gloves…chances are that though their belongings don’t smell like Bath & Body works, you probably aren’t going to get the plague :) I reminded myself that these people have feelings just like me and it is far more important that I get over myself and focus on loving them in whatever way I can…smells, lice and all.                                              When Pixie reached for my hand today I thought I was going to melt on the spot. My heart broke for her. Sure she made some bad decisions ETC but that doesn’t leave out the fact that she so badly needs love and a good helping of hope. When Andrew and I hugged her goodbye and left her sitting by herself with two long weeks of detox ahead of her I got a little flustered. I felt like we were deserting her in a way…it was weird.  Maybe it was because I can be such a nancy sometimes when it comes to the unknown that I tend to like to have someone by my side to go through hard times with, and yet Pixie sat there staring at us with all the confidence in the world. GO PIXIE!I know everyone has their own views and opinions about homeless people and that Pixie is just one in a population of many, and the whole homeless problem seems daunting/solution-less but despite all of that I think it is important to do what you personally can to help the people around us – homeless or not. It makes a difference in their life and it will make a difference in yours. This was definitely not how I pictured my Monday morning when I went to bed on Sunday night but it was a nice way to start the week…taking the focus off of myself and putting my life on hold while putting someone else first. While I am not one of those people that stops and helps every homeless person I come across – I am super thankful that God opened my eyes and heart to Pixie. Pixie has a long road ahead of her. After her 2 week detox at VOA we are hoping to get her into the San Diego Rescue Mission where she will go through a one year program and hopefully be able to start a new and better life. I am very much aware that this situation could go south very quickly but I am hopeful that Pixie will make it and will be praying for her every step of the way. Of course it is hard not get my hopes up that this whole situation is going to go flawlessly and that Pixie will never go back to alcohol and the streets but at least it’s a start.

Please remember her in your prayers as she embarks into this new season in her life!  One of the ways we are able to connect with homeless people like Pixie is when we are handing out sleeping bags.  If you would like donate to our sleeping bag drive for the homeless please CLICK HERE.

Nicole Harrison - October 19, 2012 - 9:34 AM

This is an amazing story. You two are awesome people to help her the way you have. Thank you for sharing this story.

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