Hi, my name is John, and welcome to Skid Row Stories. I’ve been asked quite a bit about how or why I started this page.
A few years ago, I went through a dry spell in my life. I mean, everything was great. I had a great career, great health, great family and friends, etc. But I felt like something was missing in my life. I felt empty and restless, even though I felt like I had everything going for me. It’s like my life was stuck in reruns of a random sitcom. I thought, okay, I have everything that the world has to offer…now what? So I went on a spiritual journey. Gandhi said that you find yourself when you lose yourself in the service of others. I thought that was a very profound statement. I also started to read the gospels again with fresh eyes. And the thing that stood out to me was the emphasis on caring for the poor, the marginalized, the sick, the lonely, the outcasts of society. And I thought, that’s what I want to do. So I decided to simplify my life. I moved out of my swanky apartment and into a small converted garage with my 3 dogs (I recently added another dog to the pack), sold or gave away most of my possessions, and started heading out to Skid Row–without any agenda, plan, or idea of what I was doing. I just simply wanted to build relationships with the people there and make myself available to care for them in whatever way I can. I don’t go down there thinking I’m some savior, like I’m gonna fix their problems. I go as a learner, as a servant, as an equal, as a friend. This was something I was doing for my own spiritual growth and journey. Something I felt drawn to do.
I was initially sharing my stories of my encounters on my personal Facebook page, and I was surprised by all the responses I was getting. So many people were inspired and moved by the stories so that I started getting a fairly large number of people following my page. So eventually, it just seemed to make sense to create a separate page dedicated to these stories.
One thing I want to make clear is that this isn’t about me. It’s about all of us! So many people have reached out to me wanting to help out in some way…whether by giving donations, purchasing needed items, sending encouragements, prayers, or just simply having an open heart and being moved by the stories. Everyone using their own unique gifts and talents for the greater good.
So many amazing people coming together. So many people to be thankful for! I love how it just happened organically. I know that whatever this is, it’s bigger than I am. And it’s beautiful.