60. Open Mic: Wholly Kicks

“Where there is no hope, it is incumbent on us to invent it.” 

–Albert Camus

I’m so xcited about this T&T Open Mic session because we are finally discussing a topic I have been waiting to unpack for a while, those experiencing homelessness. In times like these, we have more people than ever experiencing homelessness or are one paycheck away from being in that position. This is a very real reality and it’s something that anyone of us could face at any time. Today I sit down with Tyg Taylor, the Founder and Executive Director of Wholly Kicks. Wholly Kicks is a 501(c)(3) that supports those experiencing homelessness and economic disparity in North Aurora, Colorado and surrounding communities.  Wholly Kicks provides new shoes, love, encouragement and mentoring to those living on the street, in the neighborhood, and in the public-school system. Tyg is a long-time pastor (over 28 years) and left his church to move to the heart of Aurora to not just help a community in need, but genuinely be a part of it. He knew it was important to be amongst the community he wanted to serve, so he moved in and established Wholly Kicks. Tyg has an incredible story of loss, triumph, and hope. He breakdown so many pieces around homelessness, including language, understanding, approaching someone in that situation, and more. I just wish I would have had this convo years ago (like ALL the open mics!!). Empathy and understanding are at the base of a better future. This cast is really for anyone and everyone, we all need to understand each other more and the sooner we do, the sooner we can get to a more peaceful space. We don’t often get to walk in each other’s shoes, but if we can have a conversation and listen, we’ll at minimum be reminded that we are all human, seeking many of the same things: safety, shelter, love, and support. Home really is where the heart is. Broaden your perspective and extend kindness- always. 



Tyg”er” Taylor

is the founder and Executive Director of Wholly Kicks, a 501(c)(3) that supports those experiencing homelessness and economic disparity in North Aurora, Colorado and surrounding communities.  Wholly Kicks provides new shoes, love, encouragement and mentoring to those living on the street, in the neighborhood, and in the public-school system. 

For 28 years, Tyg lead an Evangelical Lutheran Church in America congregation in Monument Colorado and spent much of his time working among those living on the street in Colorado Springs. In January of 2019 he moved into the diverse neighborhood of North Aurora to live a new season of life on “mission.”  Tyg now “works” as a street pastor along the Colfax Corridor, filling his days with interactions with those whom he loves most in the world.  

Tyg”er” is a creator of fun cocktails, a cooker of well plated food, a grunty lifter of things CrossFit, a teacher of street things,  a so-so theologian, and at least a few other things.


WHOLLY KICKS

WHO WE ARE: We are here not for income, but for outcome

Wholly Kicks is a non-profit organization whose presence in Aurora, Colorado, and the Denver Metro area, exists for the purpose of “walking with” those in impoverished areas or those at risk of or, experiencing homelessness. Through the distribution of new shoes and socks, the focus of Wholly Kicks is to mentor and build relationships in “walking with” individuals who for varied reasons, find themselves experiencing economic disparity.

https://whollykicks.org

@WhollyKicks