Faces of Trinity Cafe – Meet Michael. A Friend of Sister Maureen.
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Trinity Cafe is an intentional community.
‘Faces of Trinity Cafe’ is a celebration of all that embodies that community.
Every person who walks through the doors at Trinity Cafe has a unique story of their own.
I heard about Trinity Cafe through a lady named Sister Maureen Dorr 12 years ago. Back when it was a food line at the Salvation Army. Sister Maureen would often visit prisoners at the county jail. I was arrested and ended up there for misdemeanors. Sister Maureen found my name and remembered who I was. She would visit me, share her faith and help me through my emotional issues. I had a different mentality back then. She helped me control my attitude, issues with authority, and my anger. She helped me get a job and keep it. This place is one of her many legacies. Her memory inspires me to stay clean, study, and apply myself.
Sister Maureen was 105 pounds. Her smile went from ear to ear. She had special eyes that could see right through you. I wasn’t there when she died and it hurt.
Fundamentally I believe in Islam. I believe in the mission of being a humanitarian. Being on the streets, I had to be hard, aggressive, all about the money because it is what you have got to do. I got myself into trouble back then. But I am 63 now and haven’t been to jail in 8 years. I haven’t been in front of a police officer in 8 years.
I had to change my social environment. The streets are wild. All about money..all about the hustle. The streets [are a] chronic mental/emotional issue. The key is to recognize the chronic part and address it accordingly.
I have a lady friend who came out of the projects. She’s my pet peeve. I show her love and we laugh together. She tries to understand me only to hustle me.
I want people to know that in the darkest part of the projects, there is love. The projects create chronic emotional pain.that is what they do. It spreads like a weed into the neighborhood. It spreads like a disease in our bloodstream. Overcoming it is a lifelong process.
If you don’t change what is in your heart, God can’t change who you are.
This place is about fighting our own ignorance and believing in ourselves. Less stupidity and more humanity. A place that offers an alternative to hustling, where we respect each other and preserve our dignity. (A place where people who were dealt a tough hand and wrestle with hardship can demonstrate their potential). You see people who first came into the cafe at rock bottom and are now on the payroll – clean, bathed, helping the neighborhood, sincerely.
I’m afraid. Growing up to be a humanitarian means letting go of survival methods I became accustomed to in the hood and that is scary. I wake up, get myself clean and bring myself to Trinity Cafe because being in an environment like this helps.
If you share it, you can overcome it. Not just physically but also mentally and emotionally. It can be done. If I don’t believe it can be done, it extends the pain.
I’m proud of myself. I have stitches all over my body and a black eye that is healing up. I still fight. It’s all about putting yourself together.