I’ve Learned How to Trust Again

Lies and betrayals had left Ralph with a massive chip on his shoulder — and an inability to trust anyone. Even when he came to The Salvation Army, he could not believe anyone here would actually help him.

Twenty-six years old and homeless, he rode his bicycle everywhere. He had a long list of great stories to tell. But he was also stubborn, prideful, and trusted no one. So when Ralph arrived at The Salvation Army seeking assistance to pay a motel bill, he wore that mistrust like a chip on his shoulder. When he was told that The Army didn’t help pay for motel rooms, but could help him find more permanent housing, his guard went up even more. “I don’t know if you’re telling the truth or not,” Ralph said. “I don’t trust you. I don’t trust anyone.” He immediately got up and left.

About a week later, Ralph returned . . . to ask about getting into permanent housing. He didn’t have a clue where to start, so an Army staff worker walked him through the whole process — the paperwork, where to apply for aid, creating a budget, and so on. Then he hopped on his bike and went off to find a place to live. Within a few days, Ralph was back again: He had found a place and moved in. In tears, he hugged The Salvation Army staffer who had helped him. “I don’t trust many people,” he said. “But I trust you.”

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