Updated: Jan 10
Today's meeting at F.R.O. was a mild, but powerful one. Today the brothers created a space for healing. A space where they can take off and lay down the burdens and weights that they've been carrying.
"I really thank ya'll for having meetings like this," said one man, "it has really helped me and taught me to see that I don't have to live this lifestyle no more... and I'm really thankful for my fiancee for taking this step with me, she comes from the streets too and she's really trying to choose a different life as well, and I'm really proud of her."
Men talked about the impact and power of creating spaces for men who are trying to escape pull of the streets to have a place where they can come to just decompress and get off their chest some of the things they've been carrying. They talked about the importance connecting with other people who are striving toward the same goal and want the same things.
"A lot of people that's wrapped up in the lifestyle, deep down inside they really wanna change," said co-founder Charles Champion, "they really wanna change and do better, but they don't know how to change, and they don't have nobody to do better with. And that's what we want to do through Filthy Rags Outreach, we want to create a space where men can connect with other men who are on the same path of change so that they can develop relationships with others that they can do life with and hold one another accountable to the process of change."
While some expressed the impact and power of creating spaces like this, others took personal--and spiritual inventory--of where they're at, and where they need to be and go. Filthy Rags Outreach has a Pastor who is a former gang member from LA, second generation Grape Street Watts, who speaks to the men at the end of the meetings.