by Tanya Ritter 

More than one year ago, I participated in a new project formerly known as Prisoner’s Aide. We called this new project Project Believe because of all the many challenges that people were facing that were a part of this project and it was the belief of the program team that we could help them. We soon met two women who were living under the Jones Falls Expressway bridge. One of the women had come to Baltimore from New York with the promise of a room but it turned out to be a scam, and she ended up living in a shelter. It was here that she met the other woman, but ultimately the two of them ended up living under the bridge. They came to Project Believe and learned that they provided shelter, but these women had nothing. The woman from New York left Project Believe for her own housing and her friend stayed in the program. One snowy Friday, a Case Manager went to visit the friend who was left behind to make sure she had enough food for the weekend due to the inclement weather. When the woman opened the door, the Case Manager was struck by the emptiness of the room and the powerful presence of a single Bible with the word BELIEVE on the cover. This woman was living on her faith. The Case Manager went to get some food for this woman and returned. The woman was excited about receiving the food but before doing anything else she went and knocked on a neighbor’s door and generously offered this neighbor some of her newly received food. I think of her… almost as a prophet causing me to be mindful that abundance is not a matter of money. It is a matter of gratitude and love and faith. One can come from nothing and still stand with pride.