I spent the day sewing Joe’s story and it’s coming together. Along with all the closed doors I mentioned in an earlier post, which represent all of the closed doors he faced when in need, I added a small suitcase with some of his more important possessions.
When entering the shelter system, you are only allowed one small suitcase – all your possessions must fit into it since nothing can be left at the shelter site during the day and you have to bring it with you wherever you go.
Joe also explained to me that he is very concerned with maintaining a tidy appearance. He irons his shirts every morning and encourages the other men in the shelter to do the same. I therefore placed an iron next to the suitcase and some carefully folded shirts falling into place.
Also included is a pile of books. Joe is an avid reader, always keeping up with the latest books and devouring spiritual books that help him keep things in perspective.
The last image in the piece is of the necklace his 9-year-old daughter gave him. He has not taken it off since she gave it to him, so I thought it was important to include it – hanging from the edge of the suitcase.