Guest Partner | Mike Tyson
Here at Crossroads, we desire to show dignity to all who come through our doors. One way we accomplish this is through language. We make it clear to our team members and volunteers, how we are to communicate while engaging with our guests. Guest, is in fact a critical and intentional word we chose to represent those, in the community coming to seek out support. As we engage with our guests, we begin to see the numerous variations of people, history and stories. As with all stories, there are times of beauty and joy, along with times of great sorrow, anger and hopelessness. In many cases, there are moments we could all see parallels, although the environment and circumstances may differ. It’s our desire for us to all retrain our brains to see our guests as unique individuals who are amazing and beautiful.
This brings me to Mr. Mike Tyson. Mr. Tyson grew up, lived and worked in Baltimore. It was a significant part of his identity. After getting married, he and his wife decided to move to Atlanta for new opportunities in 2010. After relocating to Atlanta, he did in fact find opportunities, however he also faced challenges just as most folks do. Some of these challenges led to a struggling career, unstable housing and strains in his marriage. As time went on, he found himself with little direction and no place to call home. He moved around to various housing programs and shelters, attempting to gain some stability and momentum. He secured some temporary housing which gave him the time he needed to make some headway. This is when we had the privilege to engage with Mr. Tyson. We provided mailroom support as well as assisted in securing his birth certificate. He shared that his experience with our team was positive and we seemed to truly care and desire to help.
After months of regular engagement with Crossroads for support, he connected with a partner of ours on campus. ANIZ offers a variety of physical, behavioral, and emotional health services. This connection lead Mr. Tyson on a journey to discovering what his next chapter would be. He accepted an outreach position with ANIZ, which now has him on campus at Crossroads weekly offering support to the guests who find their way to us. This story highlights a few key elements. First, the amazing story, which is still being lived out by Mr. Tyson. His work and efforts not only impacted himself but impacts everyone he interacts with now doing the work he once benefited from. Secondly, this story speaks to the collective and communal nature of our work and society. No one gets anywhere on their own. Many have paved the way for us and we have had someone come alongside us to support, inform, listen, love and much more when we needed it. This is what Crossroads seeks to do, coming alongside our community guests in real tangible ways which lead to their stability. We each have this opportunity daily in our personal lives as well as in a formal capacity by supporting the work we do here daily.