Detroit, Michigan – The day after the National Football League team that lost the Super Bowl to the Miami Dolphins in the 2016 AFC Championship Game was awarded a new home stadium in 2018, a new digital pen was added to the inventory of the city’s homeless shelters.
The pen, which was a gift from a former fan, was handed out to the city of Detroit’s homeless shelter, located at 1233 W. Clark Street.
It was a fitting tribute to a man who helped save lives and make Detroit a better place.
“The day we got the pen, it was a real shock to me,” said Michael Smith, the director of the homeless shelter.
“I was like, ‘What is this?'”
“When I heard the news that the team was going to get a new stadium, I thought that this is just a dream,” he said.
“But I couldn’t believe it.
It took me by surprise.”
“When we got that pen, the next thing that hit me was the homeless people,” said Mike, who asked to go by his first name for fear of being identified by his partner.
I thought this is it.
This is it, Mike Smith said, adding that his partner is also homeless.
This is the last time we’re going to be able to sit in the same chair, he said, and that was a moment of relief.
“The next time we sit in that chair, we’re not going to see any homeless people.
We’re going do what we need to do.”
In a city that has struggled with homelessness for decades, Mike said he was happy to receive the gift, which is the only digital pen he’s ever seen from a donor.
It’s the kind of gift that makes you think about your own values, he added.
After the pen was handed to him, Mike immediately started to use the pen to draw on a page in the shelter’s library.
He said he learned a lot from the pen.
“It’s kind of a learning tool,” he explained.
“You learn how to do that.”
While he says he’s glad he got the gift and feels like it gave him a sense of purpose, Mike isn’t going to take it for granted.
He says the pen can help him remember things that he missed during his time in Detroit.
As he drew on the page, Mike recalled his childhood and how he would hide from the harshness of the cold.
“My mom would take me out to play on the ice, because I was afraid of the frigid air,” he recalled.
“She used to take me to a place called the Grand Hotel and she would sit on the cold ice, and she’d keep her face a little bit warm, and I would be like, I don’t want to go to that.”
He said the pen gave him the motivation to start using it more often.
“I used to be like a shy kid,” he remembered.
“Now I have that courage to use it.”
Mike said he also took it for a test drive.
He got his first ink pen when he was in seventh grade.
He started drawing on the same page on the pen and started drawing the words, “Detroit” on a white background.
When he was 12 years old, he told his dad he wanted to be a firefighter.
He didn’t know how to draw a fire engine.
“Dad would just say, ‘You’re too young to be thinking about that,'” Mike said.