I want to tell you a story about two Real Change vendors.
One vendor, my friend Marguerite Morrisseau, was homeless for an unknown amount of time. She then got into housing. Between selling Real Change and trying to better her life and being there for others, Marguerite went to a shelter that has a day called “Ladies’ Day” when women can make crafts one day a week, where she learned different ways to make jewelry out of donated items.
Enter another vendor. Marguerite met this person who was new to the group and they formed a close friendship. Some would call it a street family bond, like mother and daughter. They met up at this group every week and would just talk. One day, Marguerite told the other woman, “You can stay with me, but here are the conditions: Every day I will make sure you are up early and you must do one thing every day towards your goal into get off the streets.”
Marguerite told the woman to bring her proof of her efforts every day in order to stay another night.
“As long as you can promise me that, I will make you meals and make sure you have a roof over your head and make sure you get to your visits for your son, because I know seeing Liam is very important to you,” Marguerite told her.
The other vendor agreed. This went on for two years until Marguerite helped the other vendor get into a transitional housing program. A year later, the vendor got her own home. They remained close friends, still in street family mode, until Marguerite passed away. Her death broke her friend’s heart, but thanks to a former Real Change staff member, Jerred Clouse, she got to say goodbye to her friend before she passed. She has never forgotten that.
In May 2019, the vendor will celebrate 11 years off the streets and is truly grateful for all of the prayers and support, especially from her customers (who she doesn’t call customers, she calls them friends since they share life experiences with her) and she is truly grateful for them helping bless her son Liam.
How do I know all of this? I am that vendor, and Marguerite Morrisseau was my dear friend. I just wanted this to be printed and shared with others so that people can see what happens after a vendor helps another vendor get off the streets.
To Marguerite, my friends and the people who have supported me, I say thank you.
Check out the full Oct. 10 - 16 issue.
Real Change is a non-profit organization advocating for economic, social and racial justice. Since 1994 our award-winning weekly newspaper has provided an immediate employment opportunity for people who are homeless and low income. Learn more about Real Change.