Talley arrived at Helping Up Mission in March 2005. The father of two sons, life had not been easy for Talley and he had spent most of 15 years homeless. In recent years he had been living with a group of others in a tent city in the woods outside Elkton, Maryland. A concerned group of citizens tried to get the whole group relocated and back in society. Someone brought Talley to Helping Up Mission.
After being here for almost 6 months, an independent film producer stopped by and told us that he has been chronicling the story of the tent city folks and wanted to follow up with Talley. So he brought all his recording equipment and set up in the chapel of our old 1029 building. He interviewed Talley and me about his story and the issues of homeless and the addictions that generally accompanying it.
Well, it is now October 2009. Talley is still here. He has a job in the city and still helps out around our facility. Almost every day he works on reading and math in our Innovative Learning Center, in preparation to earn his high school diploma. He has come up from a third grade reading level since he started.
Does recovery work? Absolutely! Can people change? Positively! I get a bit discouraged around here some days when I see men, with so much promise, just not get it. Then I see Talley – one day at a time, still plugging along. Man, I love my job!
Pastor Gary Byers
Spiritual Life Director
PS The documentary video about Talley (and Helping Up Mission) is called “Uncertain Days: Living Homeless,” directed and produced by Joseph Piner, is actually available at www.Amazon.com. If you get it, be sure you watch it to the very end – you won’t be disappointed!