Tyler Huckabee, Crown Prince of the Chicago Drag Queens, Runaways, Hookers, and Junkies

The Chicago homeless shelter I worked for was not technically a homeless shelter – it only felt like one. It was actually a church. It was “planted” (when churches are “started” they are said to be “planted” for some odd reason) some years ago,and was scraping by off a congregation that rarely topped twenty members on a Sunday morning. Even the ones who came had a difficult time expressing why they kept showing. As individuals, they seemed much like the church itself: tired.

 Years before I ever stepped foot in the church,one church-goer had started making meals on Saturday night for the area homeless,as a gesture of goodwill, a peace offering. The idea was immediately popular (the neighborhood was as tired as the church itself, and teeming with homeless) and Safe Haven was born. The job of running the thing passed hands rapidly and fell to me some three years after its inception. I ran Safe Haven and, in return,was allowed to sleep in the laundry room. It was hardly payment for what amounted to a twenty-four a day job, but it was for the Lord, and in him I lived and moved and had my being.


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