[Hpn] Talking with the homeless changes one man's mind

Morgan W. Brown morganbrown@hotmail.com
Fri, 22 Jun 2001 18:50:17 -0400


Came across the below forwarded article at the:

North American Homeless News Network:

http://www.wmm.org/NAHNN/NAHNN.html

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-------Forwarded article-------

Saturday, June 16, 2001
Florida Times-Union <http://www.jacksonville.com/tu-online>
[Jacksonville, Florida]
Talking with the homeless changes one man's mind
<http://www.jacksonville.com/tu-online/stories/061601/ner_6432319.shtml>

[Photo of R. Patrick Hayle: 
<http://www.jacksonville.com/images/061601/ww_city_rescue_011_248.jpg>]

By John Carter
Staff writer

By all rights, R. Patrick Hayle, with an MBA in financial management, should 
be a bean counter. But nowadays he's counting more on his faith in human 
nature.

When a recent assignment took him from behind his accounting desk and into 
day-to-day contact with those in need, he said, a personal
transformation took place.

"I believe I started to get a real heart for the homeless," said the 
soft-spoken Hayle. "I always wanted to help them, but I don't think their 
personal plight really registered emotionally with me. But after spending a 
lot of time with them I began to think, 'There but for the grace of God go 
I.' I just understand them better. And they could be any of us."

Hayle hopes that revelation will serve him well as he takes over as interim 
president and CEO of the City Rescue Mission while mission President Thurman 
Chambers is on a six-month sabbatical.

Since 1997, Hayle has served as vice president of finance at the mission, a 
non-profit group that provides shelter, meals, clothing and some health 
services to those in need. But it was being named vice president of the 
mission's Program Services that put him at the helm of activities called 
LifeBuilders -- and that leadership role that put him face-to-face with the 
mission's clients and led to what he sees as a new passion for his job.

"The more I began to talk with the homeless, the more my perception of
them changed," Hayle said. "Years ago my take on the homeless was that
many of them were probably just bums who should get a job. But when you 
communicate and find out how they became homeless, you realize, hey, this is 
real life here. I took a different view and understood how it could happen 
to ordinary people."

While president, Hayle said, his main focus will be to keep the mission's 
vital, fundamental programs operating smoothly. In addition, he says he 
wants to establish "a strong sense of stability" in terms of finance.

"I also hope to contribute to lifting morale and work to help the staff 
recognize that their jobs are secure, and also that we appreciate their 
loyalty."

Last year, the mission provided shelter to almost 4,400 people, served
274,000 meals and sent more than 2,700 people to the dental or medical
clinic, according to its newsletter.

Under Hayle's leadership, the mission will also proceed with plans to build 
the Vineyard Shelter Park for the Homeless at its mission between Union and 
State streets. The outdoor park would be fenced, lighted, supervised and 
equipped with sleeping and restroom facilities and showers.

The mission intends to provide a counselor who could offer access to
mission programs.

Hayle said about $40,000 has been raised toward the $130,000 to
$150,000 cost, and the mission will seek private donations as well as
federal, state and city money for the remainder.

Hayle said the mission is hoping the park will open and be operational by 
next spring or summer.

Hayle has more than 10 years' experience in rescue missions, having worked 
at the Atlanta Union Mission for a number of years. He also has other 
non-profit leadership experience, including work with St. Peter's Lutheran 
Church in New York City in the late '80s.

During the past five years, he helped the mission double its capacity 
through the purchase of a McDuff Avenue campus, now the home of 
LifeBuilders, the program Hayle headed to help homeless people make the 
transition from the street to work.

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**In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this
material is distributed without charge or profit to
those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving
this type of information for non-profit research and
educational purposes only.**

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-------End of forward-------

Morgan <morganbrown@hotmail.com>
Morgan W. Brown
Montpelier Vermont USA


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