Thursday, February 23, 2012

MARINER'S INN-DETROIT...I cried in class.

                                                               MARINER'S INN LINK

I cried today.

I cried because I have lived in the Cass Corridor for twelve years and I have never so much as slowed down as I drove by the Mariner's Inn.
I cried because I have passed by Mariner's Inn a million times and averted my eyes to the men outside (in the summertime), trying to get me to stop in for a fundraising car wash.
And I cried when I watched the video clip on the Mariner's Inn website. The link is above.

A few days ago our professor, Ms. Carol Watson, informed us we would be having to meet as a class at Mariner's Inn at Cass and Ledyard. Since we are all studying human services and mental health, Ms. Watson felt this would be a good place for us to explore some options for our required field work. Most of the class groaned and did not want to go! What an inconvenience for some of us who have to take public transportation. The rest of the class complained they didn't know where it was. We all had excuses why we didn't want to go, and yet we all showed up promptly at 4...and by the end of the meeting, we all cried.

Mariner's Inn is an amazing facility that has been in my neighborhood since 1955, catering exclusively to the healing and recovery of addiction and alcoholism in men. Upon entering the facility, which consists of living spaces, treatment centers and a large dining room and more, I immediately felt that I was in a place that was special. Almost sacred. It wasn't a dreary place as one might have expected, it was warm, inviting, comforting and filled with love. There was art and paintings and murals on the walls and later on we were told that the men in treatment all contributed to this process of creating the beauty within.

The class gathered in a conference room and sat around a large table and we were greeted by Mr. David Sampson, the C.E.O. of Mariner's Inn, who had set places for everyone with brochures and business cards. Even though our Wayne County Community College class was in its sixth week, Mr. Sampson had us all introduce ourselves and share a little about our own lives. It was emotionally telling and very revealing and I think the class had a bonding experience that they were not expecting. It was very cleansing.

Anyway, once again I feel like I've been struck by lightning! Once again, I am awakened by the sound of the thunderous voices of homeless and emotionally recovering men; husbands and fathers and brothers who may have given up on themselves, but have found a place to start a new beginning at Mariner's Inn. Once again I am shocked into the reality that there are people out there who are deeply hurting, and that  there are people out there who are helping them to heal. Such was my experience at Mariner's Inn.

I know how easy it is to try and ignore the obvious, the poor and the downtrodden; we all do that from time to time. But please take it from my personal experience, that no matter how awful it may seem out there, no matter how you may want to judge others, at one point we were all somebody's little baby...deep inside of each us is that little child, still needing love and understanding. I am continually amazed at my capacity to grow and I thank God for little gifts, like a class trip!


1 comment:

Dave Sampson said...

Michele, thank you for the inspirational message and being a voice for the voiceless. It is truly cleansing when you realize your purpose. I am thankful that life is a journey because it continues to give us chances to meet warm, wonderful and caring people such as yourself. You are always welcome! Take care -Dave Sampson