Seeing Miracles at Water Street

If there’s one thing Levon’s learned, it’s that not everyone is homeless for the same reason. “When you see someone who’s homeless, don’t just assume that it’s because they did something.” he says. “Take the time to talk to them.”

If you talked to Levon and heard more of his story, you’d find out he was raised by a hardworking mother who believed in saving money and being open-handed to those in need. She taught him never to be jealous of what other people have and that there’s no shame in working a bit harder to reach your goals.

Levon took that advice and worked hard, spending much of his life in the restaurant industry. He worked his way up the ladder to managerial positions in Lancaster’s bustling restaurant scene. “I was making pretty good money.” he says. “I was happy and having a good life.”

But when COVID hit, Levon lost his job. After nearly two years of unemployment, Levon says he ran through his savings and his simple IRA. Cobbling together work through ride-share apps, and other small means, hardly kept him afloat until he couldn’t afford his apartment anymore. He was left bouncing from hotels, to couches, finally coming to Water Street Mission.

“If you don’t believe there’s a God and that He works miracles, look at Water Street.”

– Levon

Admittedly, Levon didn’t know what to make of Water Street at first. He himself says negative images of what it would be like to live amongst those struggling with homelessness made him uneasy. “When I first came to Water Street, I looked and I was like, this ain’t for me.” he said.

But it didn’t turn out how he expected. Over his time here, Levon grew to see the Water Street community differently. Each person, their story and life, was unique, and he came to see many of the staff and guests as his “brothers.”

Pretty soon, Levon was volunteering in the dining hall, and supporting the Mission in the warehouse, where he saw firsthand all the donations that come in. Canned goods, notebooks, toiletries, you name it, he helped sort it and get it where it needs to go. Reflecting on these donations he says, “it makes you really, really realize how good God really is.”

“What a blessing it is to have Water Street. And I’ve never seen anything like this.”

– Levon

Today, Levon is back to work, spending long hours in a local restaurant, but never complaining. “I get to cook, which I really love doing.” he says. “A lot of people can’t say they love doing what they do, but I love being in the kitchen.”

While at Water Street, Levon has also been pursuing a future
in a new calling. Levon has come to love this place and
his fellow guests so deeply, that he’s now planning to study counseling himself. His dream is to serve men and women experiencing homelessness.

Levon says Water Street underlines something that most people overlook. “While many want to see big grand transformations,” he says, “true change comes bit by bit.” And those small changes, those are what he considers true miracles. “If you don’t believe there’s a God and that He works miracles, look at Water Street.” he says. “Every day I see God working. Every day.”

Because of people like you, we get to see miracle moments like what Levon describes take place…every day. Thank you for your consistent love and support that keeps us going!