Spencer moved up to Coeur d’Alene from Oregon with a trio of friends in the spring of 2014. When their group showed up at the 2nd Street Commons, I have to admit that red flags immediately went up for our volunteers. When a group of young people show up who are homeless, rowdy, and obviously on drugs, it’s hard not to fit them in to the ‘questionable’ category. We try not to do it, but it happens. Though very congenial, Spencer emerged as a sassy know-it-all, punk-type kid. He typically would come in, utilize resources, make a mess, talk crap about everything and everybody, and just act like he had ‘something’ going on behind the scenes.
We started to get to know more about Spencer when he joined one of our ‘Friends Helping Friends’ (FHF) groups at the 2nd Street Commons. As time went by I personally started to not only understand Spencer in relation to his history, I started to really like him. It also helped that after a number of meetings with FHF, his behavior and attitude began to transform. One day Spencer came in with a huge smile on his face- “I got a job!” he joyfully yelped out. “I haven’t had a real job in a long time!”, he went on- and we all celebrated with him!
As the winter of 2014 began to set in, Spencer and his new (and better) friends were residing in an old Subaru station wagon. Through Kaleidoscope Community Services (KCS), we placed Spencer and a friend of his in a donated 5th wheel trailer in a local RV park for the winter. KCS made the first monthly payment, then Spencer and his roommate covered the space rent from there. In the spring we helped Spencer and some roommates transition into a mobile home, and he took it from there.
From a very rocky start, and over a two year period, Spencer flourished- even through difficult times. He has kept that same job, being promoted and trusted as a shift manager, enrolled himself in our local community college, reconciled with his mother down in California, and has grown up as a man. He has also grown by leaps and bounds in his faith in Jesus- and there’s fruit in keeping with his faith. Spencer also now serves as a volunteer staff member at the 2nd Street Commons. Spencer loves to help and encourage people from the street.
This is what we do. We invite people into our family at the 2nd Street Commons- no matter what their starting place is. From there, using KCS resources, we invest in helping people who want to help themselves. Finally, we invite those whom we’ve helped to be a part of our team- because they have understanding, compassion, and wisdom to work fruitfully among the broken.