“Thanks again, Mr. Butler”

Directing the Men’s Pavilion at Coalition for the Homeless means that Rickie Butler, the Pavilion Manager, comes into contact with hundreds of homeless men each day. The Pavilion can house up to 375 men per night and is a traditional drop-in shelter. Hearing that, you probably think the men in the Pavilion would conform to the stereotypical view of the homeless – that image of a man holding a cardboard sign on the street corner.

rickie-001However, in his 11 years at the Coalition, Rickie has become convinced that the stigmas surrounding homelessness are often off-base.

“Looking at the stereotypes – homelessness is not what a lot of people think. There are people on drugs or alcohol, but there are a lot of guys that have just had bad dealings in their life. They just need a helping hand.”

Several months ago, Rickie received a letter from a previous resident of the Pavilion. Read on to see how letters like this prove that Rickie, as a staff member at the Coalition, is helping break the cycle of homelessness:

“I just [wanted] to take a moment to let you know how much your kindness and thoughtfulness has [sic] touched me.

“If it weren’t for you and your staff I probably wouldn’t have sought the help that I sorely needed, so thank you again for bringing me back to my senses and reminding me of how very precious life is!  I know that my children need me to be alive and involved in their lives, I no longer feel that dying is a solution to anything!  I have you to thank for that!

“This has been so frightening for me and not having my family around to help me go through this makes it even harder as you can imagine, but since you’ve started to help me things haven’t seemed so scarey [sic].

“Mr. Butler I can’t thank you enough for everything you’re doing and your kindness will never be forgotten!  Thank you, thank you, thank you!  I only pray that I live long enough to follow your example and do the same for someone else in need.  I know that my children would be thankful for what you’re doing for their father.

“Well I’ll stop rambling, I just wanted you to know how I felt, I’m sorry it has taken so long for me to write this, thanks again Mr. Butler.”

staff-pix-for-2008-annual-report-063cropped1– a letter from a former resident of the Men’s Pavilion.

And what is Rickie’s response to emotional letters like this, you ask? With a smile and more than a hint of passion in his voice, he simply asserts,

 “It’s rewarding to work in the Pavilion…helping these guys is rewarding.”

To read more about the Men’s Pavilion at the Coalition, as well as our other services, click here.