Very soon after we posted about the apartment, He answered our call. Manuel’s former landlord agreed to work with Ecclesia and the IDF in the RighTrak Industries project. We just put down the deposit and first half-month’s rent on an apartment on the same block as Ecclesia. Willie will have a home!


Oh, how important is a home. So much of our sense of security is tied to one’s having a place to call home. Honestly, I can’t imagine what it’s like to not have a home. But I’ll bet the single biggest factor that contributes to a homeless person’s crisis mentality and short-term, day-by-day thinking is the lack of security (in a Maslow’s hierarchy sense) that comes from sleeping on the streets. Doubtless that lack of security and feeling of hopelessness is a trigger for quite a few destructive behaviors and bad choices. If this RighTrak project is going to work, it will be of critical importance to keep Willie from re-entering the old life. In other words, we don’t want to lose him. That means he needs a place to stay as soon as he’s released.

Here are our criteria: He will have to bike or walk everywhere, and he wants to be close to the few positive, supportive relationships he has. We want him to also be close to some social services. His church is Ecclesia at Taft and Welch. Trinity Lutheran, where Willie has expressed interest in attending also, is at Washington Avenue and Houston Avenue. Ecclesia moved most of its worship operations to Elder Street (just north of Houston Ave & Washington Ave). His car wash customers are in Montrose, and he’ll probably get more customers at Ecclesia’s Elder Street location. This Midtown/Montrose/Fourth Ward area is the target area. There are a few other restrictions imposed by the criminal justice system, but we’ll deal with those on a case-by-case basis. So if anyone has any leads on inexpensive apartments in this area, please let us know. Willie has to update his address with the court by November 15.

God bless Judge Maria Jackson!  She took a chance on us and on Willie. On November 16 Willie will be released into our custody. Condition number 40 (which in the Bible represents wilderness) of his release is that he participate in the RighTrak Industries program. I’m told by experienced criminal defense attorneys that of all the judges sitting on the bench in Harris County, she is the most religious and the most receptive to social programs as alternatives to locking people up. Tell me that’s not a God thing.