My Simple Truth
I have been living, in service, for the past 18 years. I have also been in hiding for the same span of time. At least that is how it has felt. Twenty years ago, I had a Damascus Road experience and committed my life to service. I opened my life and home to young women in need. My apartment complex’s management went from ministerial to corporate. I was called into the office and offered a choice: Ask the young women living in my home to leave and I could keep my apartment. Sending daughters away is not what I do. I don’t know how to do family that way and don’t want to learn. I was evicted. My life conversion did not come with a huge bank account. I spent more than a year in this city, with no permanent address. Since, every time I find a roof when given the chance, I make the same choice, to serve . . . my daughters, my children.
My simple truth is that the way I choose to live my life is in direction violation of the restrictions placed on someone who is eligible for government assistance.
I live now, and have in the past, in violation of my lease agreements. These violations make eviction a very real possibility in my life. Cats and daughters, I can’t send them away. And I don’t want to. They are in my life as a reflection of who I am, of who I choose to be. My lease says that I, alone, can live in this apartment. But there are two available bedrooms and three young women in need of a safe space to be. As a Servant Mother, if a daughter comes to me in need, and I get an internal directive to help her, I act on the word heard. I act without consideration or concern for how any other human, organization, or system may react to the decision. The security of the daughter before me is my only concern when I make the choice to step into a daughter’s life and offer safe haven.
Now, I could call the landlord and Metro Housing and add their names to the lease. That is in direct conflict with my personal mission. I have a plan to be free of all government assistance and am not considering any ways to linger in the program. I don’t want to add their names to a government assisted lease; I intend to reduce the social welfare recipient count, not increase it. My mission is to see my daughters’ names on college degrees, not on Section 8 applications. My way out is to create a non-profit organization, raise the money and purchase the property that allows me to open my door to anyone I feel inspired to serve.
And so, I have to go public and tell the whole truth of how I live, what I do, and why I do it – in order to get the help and support I need to make my dream come true. I dream of a mansion in Old Louisville, with a carriage house on the property, where I can live in service assisting up to 12 young women at a time to graduate from college and gain self-sufficiency, using the power of God. I intend to wallpaper that mansion with college degrees.
To meet that end, my first public act was to put my plan in the hand of someone whose counsel I trust, implicitly. The plan was reviewed and a meeting scheduled. I decided before going into the meeting, “if she says I can do it, no one will stop me.” She began the conversation by telling me how to make my dream, reality. She did not say I could do it; she told me how to do it. I went to this particular person because she has what I desire – a mansion with a carriage house on the property, and she does what I want to do – increases the number of college degrees in my hometown. I went to her looking for approval, for permission, and rather than waste my time with ego fluff – she gave me direct instruction to act on. I like that.
One major task was to form a non-profit corporation. Done. It feels good to have Board support. My Daughter’s Foundation, Inc. is a registered Kentucky non-profit corporation. After an incredible amount of work on the part of the tenacious Board of Servants Chair – Whitney Franklin, we received Federal Nonprofit Public Charity status in April of 2015, allowing us to accept tax-deductible donations. Our next step will be to launch the campaign to raise the funds necessary to make an offer on the property of my dreams. Again, the point of this post and others to follow is to gain your support; support that is needed to grow and serve more daughters.
By support, I mean spreading the word about what I am seeking to do by sharing this post with as many people that you believe will lend support. The more people who know what I am doing, the faster I can see my dream. If you decide that you agree with my lifestyle choice of service, then please speak on my behalf, here in the comment section. You could also let me know that I have your support by liking the Book of Face pages of My Daughter’s Foundation, Inc. and Nyleve’s Haven. If anything you have read, compels you to further action – MDF, Inc. is seeking Board of Servants members. And accepting donations.
A version of this post was originally published on my personal page at Linkedin.com in 2015