Hi! I am typing this in June of 2016 which means I will turn 60 in a couple of months. I would have thought turning 60 would be a challenge but instead I am having a great time preparing to celebrate! One of the first things I will do is ride the bus with a 60+ Senior’s ticket. I just discovered two days ago the tickets will soon cost me less and I do love saving money!
I hope to soon enroll in Paralegal studies. My goal will be to provide pro bono services to our clientele at the homeless centre where I work.
I blog because I love to write and hope to someday be published. I also wanted to share the stories of my years as a homeless child. It was a terrible and sad time in my life but there were kindnesses bestowed on me by strangers. Their goodness gave me courage to keep trying and eventually I succeeded.
A little more than 17 years ago I opened a day shelter for the homeless in my community. Our shelter is Street Help Homeless Centre of Windsor. I have used my experiences as a homeless person as a guide to providing services which I found were nonexistent or poorly provisioned.
My goal is to serve others the way I would want to be served. To only serve food I would serve my family. To offer a place of safety from violence, pimps, drug dealers and those who do not understand. To offer a home where all are accepted ‘as is’ free of discrimination.
Our centre is run primarily by volunteers, most of whom are homeless or recently homeless. I, my husband and our bookkeeper are all volunteers as well. We have a few small paid jobs for homeless people to work as our street patrol staff. Who better to understand the needs of the homeless than the homeless themselves!
We have proven the homeless are a previously untapped resource to the community. In a simple way of putting it; it is much nicer to cook your own food, wash your own dishes and clean the floors in the charity rather than always standing in the receiving line. Our centre provides the homeless the opportunity to help themselves and our way has proven to be a method to help restore dignity and hope.
On a final note I was born Zora Zebic. During my younger years I was often bullied, including bullying by teachers, simply for my name. I legally changed my name in my early 30’s and plan on recovering my original name!
In loving others I have learned to love myself and to love my very special name! I am Zora Zebic and I hope you enjoy my stories, poems, thoughts and photos.
Unless otherwise stated, all photos, stories and poems are my work and should not be reproduced without my permission. Thanks!
8 thoughts on “About”
HI Zora, I love that name. Thanks for visiting my site. It’s great to be able to ride the buses for free. Where I live, when I turned 65, i could ride buses for free and trains for $1. Have a great day!~Julia
Wow, you have a fantastic government to offer free bus rides and trains for so little! I love my name but hated it as a child. I think I only needed to grow into the name!
Zora, so nice to meet you. I love your name too. Thank you for stopping by site which led me to yours. I love your photos and your stories. I volunteer at a shelter for the homeless in Oakland County just north of Detroit. (We’re neighbors!) It’s called South Oakland Shelter (SOS) and I’ve been there about a year and a half now. The shelter itself does not have housing, but moves weekly from church / synagogue each week. The host church / synagogue provides rooms, food, and often other services like hair cuts or tutoring. It gets a lot of people in the communities involved in helping out.
I actually started through my church which hosts SOS for a week each year in November. Then after I retired, I decided to get more involved. So I go to a different host church /synagogue each week and help people with cover letters or other documents they need help with. (I used to teach business writing at Davenport U). I have found that more important than the documents we produce, is having a safe place for telling their story. I don’t work with everyone, just whoever wants help and can usually only work with two a week. I have heard some stories as I am sure you know.
I have been intrigued by the number of children that come through. Usually little ones. In fact just two nights ago I worked with a single dad of a most delightful 5 year old, Jewelmonet, Jewel for short. Her dad just wants to keep her safe.
I hear these stories and I think these individuals need to have their stories shared. Often they cry when they tell their stories and I think it helps so much for them to have a voice. Funny, at first I didn’t want to eat with the clients because I thought “I don’t want to take food from the homeless!” But no one would talk to me. So I started sharing dinner with them, talking to them like the host volunteers usually do. And now I walk in each week greeted by smiles and hellos and I feel so at home. And I am meeting so many interesting volunteers as well.
I have an idea simmering in my head about starting a blog of stories these people tell me. I don’t know about issues of their personal privacy. I would only publish if a person ok’ed it of course. If you have any thoughts on this issue I would certainly appreciate it. I’ve written too much, but I am so glad to meet you, meet your Street Help center. And I look forward to getting to better know you through WP.
Hi LuAnne, I am so happy to meet you also! It is a great idea to start a blog of client stories. I would be happy to link client stories to your blog if you would like.
It is fascinating to listen to the circumstances; job loss, supporting partner loss, mental illness, body illness, abuse and the scores of other causes of homelessness.
I would think many people would be happy to have their stories told. They want others to understand them, as opposed to stereotyping them.
Please let me know if you start the blog!
I definitely will! I could be an international collaboration. It might take me a while to get it started. But I was just beginning to mull this around in my head when I met you. Serendipity!
You are one inspirational lady!! what you do is absolutely amazing. Best of luck
Thank you, I appreciate it!
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