I am fortunate. I am blessed. I am grateful.
You see, I am one of the those that has not struggled with substance abuse, nor have I been addicted to narcotics or even alcohol. I enjoy a drink now and then, but thanks to my folks and probably some of my religious upbringing, I didn’t have to face the demons that have plagued so many men and women around this great city.
I write this not knowing exactly what or how folks get to the point where a narcotic or beverage can consume a person to sacrifice their money, their families, relationships, and in some cases, their very lives. What I DO know, however, is that it is a very real disease….substance abuse…and does not discriminate. Regardless of color of skin, religion, culture, economic status, or gender, substance abuse can grip anyone.
There are all sorts of programs out there that do their best to help people become clean and sober and, I in no way can speak with any kind of experience on who and what program works the best, but I can tell you about one in Seattle that I was fortunate enough to be a part of for a few moments this past week.
I was invited to help make and serve lunch at the Matt Talbot Center, located in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood by one of the board members, Charles Nay, who serves lunch over the past few months on the 2nd Thursday of each month. I had heard of the Matt Talbot Center over the years and that it was a center that was really trying to meet people where they were really at, including some of those in our community that most of us ignore, or pretend don’t exist, the homeless, the addicted, and the mentally ill.
You see, our government can’t train compassion. To run a center like Matt Talbot, you need to have a heart that is continuously moved with compassion to care, to love, and to serve.
We are fortunate in Seattle, to have a place like the Matt Talbot Center committed to helping those that need it most.