Christy loves the PARC and she loves to tell other people how it has helped her. She arrived in Amarillo on January 1 with plans to stay with a friend, but she ended up at Salvation Army. These are her words:
"I heard about the PARC from some of the people at Salvation Army. When I walked through the door the first time I was met with a kind heart and open arms, and it threw me for a loop. I didn’t think it would be like this at all. They showed me all the things I could do and learn. All they ask is that we try to be productive. They have good coffee, and everything in the PARC is free, which is overwhelming to me, too. There are classes on anything you can imagine.
"When I got here, I was surprised that the people that were here at the PARC were homeless. I think when you walk in here you become 'not a normal homeless person'. People will ask, 'What is a normal homeless person?' I will say that a normal homeless person is lost and not sure what direction to go. They become bitter and uncaring. People that are homeless are often become greedy and some want to stay homeless. But, the percentage that wants to move forward needs to come to the PARC. I wish I could tell people to follow me and let me show you something good.
"The PARC has opened my eyes to something I have never seen before. No one has ever reached out to me like this before. I’ve been in counseling and rehab, but it wasn’t the same. I've gotten more from here in the past month than I have in the past 5 years. I’ve gained confidence, courage, self-esteem, and I have someone that cares for me. I am a recovering addict and without the PARC I would have relapsed. The PARC has given me a place to go and not think about drugs. The PARC showed me goals I didn’t even know I had, and how to get them. I am about to move into an apartment in a few days, and I am saving for a vehicle. The PARC is teaching me that it is okay to talk to God anyway I want, that He loves me for who I am and that He forgives me. I never knew that. It makes me want to cry. I’ve learned to read the Bible and now I know that He can take me down any path and it’s going to be alright. He isn’t ever going to lie to me. He makes my heart feel really good. I’ve learned so much here at the PARC. If my Momma was still here she would be knocking on the door to tell you thank you.
"I have to thank Valerie and Robert for it all and the volunteers. When I tell people about the PARC, I tell them that Valerie is very protective and wants to show us how to be better people. She will talk to you and listen. Valerie and Robert are opposites. He teases me and makes me laugh. They are two kind people wanting to do some good for people that didn’t know there was any good out there."
What does homeless look like? It looks like Christy that just needed a place to find her value and know herself through the eyes of acceptance and love. It changes everything. Just ask Christy.