Norman's Story

“I mostly keep to myself. It keeps the drama down. I don’t really care what others think of me,” says Norman.

Norman first came to Cherry Street from a local rural hospital. In his hometown there are not a lot of options for people living in poverty; nor those who find themselves to be homeless. Norman arrived hungry for safety and hungry for a bit of independence.

He was transported from the hospital to Cherry Street earlier this year. When Norman first arrived he was in a manual wheelchair struggling to get through the old, heavy doors at Cherry Street ‘s Life Revitalization Center. Others help Norman get in and out of the building and access his needs.

On the work site Norman fell into a hole. He injured his foot which then turned into gangrene. The doctors noted the infection moving closer and closer to Norman’s knee. Rather than risk further surgeries they decided to take the leg off just below his hip.

Through the partnerships at Cherry Street and in Cherry Streets philosophy of providing access to all services for ALL people; Norman was able to obtain a motorized wheelchair. He explained, “When this thing is fully charged it can really GO. Each night I am assigned a bed next to an electrical outlet so I can recharge.”

Construction along Monroe St. has been a challenge for Norman; and others like him who struggle with mobility. “There is a little path between here and the gas station down the road that I have to follow through. During certain parts of the day it’s not real safe for me to cross the street. I try to avoid those times,” said Norman. When Norman was asked what his thoughts were about the arrival of snow he shrugged his shoulders and said,” It will be cold soon too. I’ll do the best that I can.”

Norman does think though about how he arrived hungry for safety and has been provided that by the staff and supporters of Cherry Street. “I get along fine at Cherry Street. Plus, since the elevator has been fixed at the men’s facility I have been able to rejoin Bible study on the second floor,” said Norman.

Norman starts each day in prayer and thanksgiving. He says he has always had a relationship with God. He is a man of few words, has a gentle smile and always a kind word. He likes to listen to other people share their stories.

A hunger for independence dwells within Norman as well. He says, “I just need to get approved for some low-income housing. I’d like to move back home so I can be closer to my baby sister. In my own place I’ll be able to get along just fine in my new wheelchair or on a crutch and my good left leg.” Through relationships built with Norman and partnerships within Cherry Street; Norman’s hunger for intangible items like independence and safety are being provided through Cherry Street and through your support of Cherry Street.