Tent City – 1Mile Matters Recaps

by / Friday, 05 November 2010 / Published in Uncategorized

1Laughs – 1Matters

Just a reminder this Sunday, November 7th @ 6 pm is the comedy benefit 1Laughs – 1Matters at Connxtions Comedy Club.   Ken Leslie hosts an evening of Eight (8) (Ocho) of the regions best comics to support 1Matters.

The hard work is done, now comes the fun.   Come on out and laugh your arse, or any other body parts off and support a great cause.

Tent City 2010

We have yet to process all of the slips of paper which represent all the 1’s who mattered this year, either as volunteers or those who received services.

Operationally we can say this by far was the best Tent City ever.  All of the teams delivered amazingly.  I mean amazingly.

Special props HAVE to go to our Food Team.  Wow, so well done.  Friday night we had expected 200 – 250 people, we ended up with close to 600, and every single person got fed.  (Hence the weekend’s unofficial slogan, “Loaves and Fishes Bitches.”)

Emotionally, lives were changed, for guests and volunteers.  What made this year doubly special was all of the volunteers who were formerly, or presently unhoused who volunteered just to give back.  Wow.

There are 100 stories of power, raw emotion, and raw change.  We are compiling them on the 1Matters Stories page on FaceBook, and will post them here as well.  Below are just a couple.  You can add here.

If you have a story to share, please email it to us, we want to hear it.

Thank you to each 1 of you who came down, guest, volunteer or visitor. Each a special piece who mattered to some 1, some how this weekend.

1Mile Matters!

What a huge success, we exceeded our goals for a first walk on every measure.  The vibe was more than a walk; it was a march to unity.  It was incredible. 

The very excited winner of the 4 John Mellencamp tickets and meeting John at his Detroit Fox Theater show November 19th is Gretchen Ronau who raised $1000.  Congrats Gretchen.

Here is what is so cool about our community, almost every media outlet in town came together to support this inaugural walk.  Major media competitors set down competition and promoted the efforts of each other.

If you would have told me the Blade (Dave Murray), the Free Press (Brandi Barhite) and WSPD (Fred Lefebvre) would share a podium without acrimony; and 13- ABC (Lee Conklin, Jennifer Jarrell, Christine Williams, Kristin Emery, and Greg Bilizarian), Fox 36 (Shaun Haggerty) and WTOL – 11 would share the same podium, and several Cumulus stations (Becky Shock, Mark Benson, Ron Finn) would share that podium with WSPD, I would have responded “yah, when pig’s fly over a frozen hell AND a monkey, in fact a rhesus monkey would fly out of a certain orifice.”

Well, it happened.  Why? Because that is how our community rolls.  That is just who we are.  Screw competition, we care about each other and prove it with our actions.

What does this mean?  We think next week we will be announcing the next 1Mile Matters march city, probably set for mid-May.   In that city, and every there after we will be able to hold the bar high – Toledo put down all competition to come together, if Toledo can, they can too.

But I want to stop for one second.  The walk, the entire thing was put together in EIGHT (8 – OCHO) weeks.  Huge props have to go to the walk team; Karen Soubeyrand, Tricia Mattson, Kevin Powell and Amanda Moore.  You can imagine the challenges of starting something new, but doing it in 8 weeks is just freaking incredible.  Thank you!


As promised here are a few of the stories shared so far from Tent City 2010 1Matters story section on FaceBook.  We start with my personal story about Jimmy whose struggle has been documented here for two years.


More can be found here

One of the most wonderful moments was that Jimmy came down… and STAYED.  Jimmy is a special man to me and his story has been told in detail on the 1Matters site. He is the one i met who was living in the river and on his way to an appointment with suicide when God intervened and steered him to the library that Saturday morning.

Jimmy is a self proclaimed schizophrenic and agoraphobic and freaks out around crowds.  Sometimes his medication is inconsistent and the voices get very loud, so he often drinks to try to quiet them.  The past two years his visits to TC had been very brief due to his illnesses.

That is why when he came down early Saturday morning and stayed it was so amazing.

I cannot think of this without crying, but he said they finally found a medication that works. As evidence he had not had a drink in 2.5 weeks.  Further evidence? He did not ask me “for a couple dollars for bread and bologna.”    Further evidence?  Normally he would talk only with my wife Norma, and I.  This morning he stuck around and talked to several of our friends.

Those who have shared this journey with us know how monumental this progress is.  Please pray the efficacy of this medication lasts.

Charlene Rook

It was around 10ish on Saturday night at Tent City. Most of the people that weren’t staying for the night had already left. I was talking to a few friends getting ready to leave myself. I saw Juan, my friend. He had this blanket that was handed out for the people that would be staying the night. He said he was tired and would sleep by the door of the Tent. Juan laid his blanket down on the cold hard ground. He used his duffel bag as a pillow and laid down for the night. I continued my conversation near him. Talking about things that had happened through out the day. I looked over to see if Juan was sleeping. He was fast asleep. I snapped a picture of him and suddenly I saw what I had been missing. Take a minute and look at this picture. JUAN MATTERS- and so does every ONE else!