1st place adult winner

April 14, 2015


Congratulations to our first place adult winner, Dynise Coogler! Ms. Coogler gives an account of her battle with homelessness with the burden of mental illness.  She also expresses the importance of having a helping heart in the homeless community.  Congrats again Dynise Coogler on being this year’s first place winner!
A House Is Where the Heart Is

Dynise Coogler

The shadows of the house were awash with the eerie glow of the street lights as they filtered through the window. There was no cacophony of street sounds. No metro bus rumbling through the streets, no trucks, no plethora of cars riding past the house. All was dead quiet. And all of it reminded me that I was to be here only a short time. My next move was to be Jordan House; a crisis facility. I was a homeless mental health patient signed onto a crisis facility. A two-fold purpose; get back my mental health and also provide proper housing. Proper housing for the homeless. Homeless…a word that has many meanings. Without a home of your own is what the majority think of when thinking of the word homeless. But to think of the homeless is to think of the corporate body of people walking the streets without a place to go. I was fortunate to have Jordan House. But what of the person asking for spare change. Spare change can help you purchase a single cup of coffee, a hot sandwich or a bus ride to a shelter. A shelter can be a God-sent thing …a place to stay.
In Washington, DC we could use more gifts like a place to stay. It is traditionally called “affordable housing”. This housing is a gift private foundations, corporations, private citizens try to spearhead the move to procure for the homeless. These myriad people work tirelessly to find housing for the homeless. They wrap their collective arms around the homeless and try to help.
The look of quiet desperation is evident on the faces of the homeless, but people can help them to be brave. I used to be homeless. People helped me to develop courage by prayer and just trying to get proper housing. I now stay at Hyacinth’s Place: a place of help and healing that provides for low-income women that are trying to better develop themselves and ready themselves for the future. I made it. Let’s hope that all the homeless of Washington, DC make it. Let’s hope that all are treated with the love and compassion that fosters the belief that home is where your heart is. Let our hearts be with the homeless.

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