Wearing a mask may hide a person’s smile but not their happiness. Some people can even smile with their eyes. Andy is one of them. A Longmont native and soon to celebrate his ninth year of sobriety, he is a tireless ambassador of our work.
“I am put on this planet to help others so if I can help in any way I’m willing to do so.”
When asked why he chose to become a member, Andy shared, “I’m a member first and foremost because I never belonged to anything. I’ve been highly judged and kicked out of places for my sexual orientation. I’ve been kicked out of places for looking and being homeless. I come to the Café as neutral ground. You don’t judge. You know that if we cut ourselves, we bleed the same color.”
“We all have heartbeats, a pulse. We’re all human.”
One of the first people to join when we opened in 2019, Andy rarely misses a day in the Café. When COVID triggered a shift to virtual services in March, he did his best to stay connected. But it wasn’t the same. He missed “the ability to hug people, to give high fives, to touch people.” Andy struggles with loneliness and fears we may need to close again. He is keenly aware of his mental health and relies on the connection and support from the Café community to keep him healthy.
“There’s hope, there’s help. You just have to find it. Asking for help can be the hardest thing you can do. When you ask for help, it’s such a relief to actually get it. When you come to the Café, and say, “I need help” they say, “What do you need?”
Andy embodies our mission to be a community of healing and refuge. As a member, he’s found a place of belonging and support, not only for himself, but for the countless others he lifts up each time he enters the Café. He is a true champion of our work.