Melissa Willis is an expert on homelessness.
From News & Record:
“A cold rain that sometimes turned to sleet throughout the day likely kept people away from corners where they usually panhandle, volunteer Melissa ‘Byrd’ Willis, 25, said.
Willis, who was homeless when she was in her teens, said the annual [homeless] count is important because the funding can help improve services.
‘Iâ€™ve lived it. Iâ€™ve been in their shoes,’ Willis said. ‘I know how it feels to be outside and trying your best every day to try to make things better for yourself.’”
I met Melissa when she was 16 and homeless. Today, she is a friend who I respect and admire, and who inspires me by her love for God and people, and her ministry to the homeless and poor.
The only experts on homelessness are people who’ve been homeless. I’m not an expert, just a grateful, blessed friend of experts — like Melissa.
Love you, Bird. â™¥
Note: The article “Volunteers scour streets” is available on A1 of the Thursday, January 27, 2011 e-edition of the News & Record (requires registration).