Unexpected Fatherhood

I’ve never been able to sit still. I am a DOER. Show me a barrier and I will DO everything I can to help you move thru that barrier.

The kids who come to Montrose Grace Place are living in unstable environments, whether it’s homelessness or in an abusive family situation. They face a plethora of barriers every moment of the day. MGP offers four hours of a barrier free space, once a week to help nurture their bodies and free their minds.

I don’t volunteer directly with the kids. I serve as security twice a month and act as president on the Board of Directors. That is the doer part in me. It is what I know how to do.

What I didn’t know starting out is that these kids actually look up to me. Who knew! They are genuinely grateful and happy to see that I am “watching their backs”. I get the sense that they see me as a father.

Not having kids of my own, I never knew what it felt like to be a father. Looking out for these kids (BTW: they do not like being called kids, they prefer being called youth!) by “watching their backs” and being certain that the church campus is safe has given me a renewed sense of family thru community. All it costs me is four hours twice a month to make a difference.

Yes it’s hard coming straight to the church after working a long ten hour day, only to work another four hours.
Yes, it’s much easier to simply go home and watch TV, to “unwind” from a hard day.
Yes, I’m staying up past my bed time of 9pm.
Yes, I am exhausted at the end of it all.

But, the rewards I receive knowing that these kids (youth!) are safe if only for four hours that day, trump everything that I was privileged to do that day.

My new found sense of fatherhood did not happen overnight, it came from a commitment of consistently showing up. MGP is becoming a familiar safe place. My face is but one of many making this happen. It takes a village.

I was asked to leave home at seventeen because my mother did not want my father to know I was gay. I sometimes forget what it was like being naive, facing the streets for the first time. What I remember most strongly is the RARE stranger who gave me a hand up. I am honored and humbled to be that stranger today.

Scot is the President of the Board of Directors of Montrose Grace Place. Montrose Grace Place is a safe, welcoming environment for vulnerable homeless youth of all sexualities and genders, providing nourishment, healthy relationships, and hope for the future.

1 comment:

  1. Scot, you are AWESOME, and a great blessing to MGP. Thank you for your dedication, and perseverance, and love!