The Delaware County Daily Times is always accused of giving Chester a bad shake with its abundant coverage of the city’s crime, murder, and malfeasance. Today’s story on Elva, the omnipresent homeless lady who trolled the downtown section of the city, demonstrates an extraordinary dose of compassion and reverence for one of Chester’s residents that nearly everyone else saw as a lady not deserving of a full 3-page memorial cover story.

We may not have known her name, but there is hardly anyone who spends time in downtown Chester who doesn’t know Elva. Why? Because the lady walks around cursing and screaming to herself all day long.

We may not have known where she came from, what made her so angry, why she chose Chester’s downtown as her stage, what she ate or how she managed at night, but prior to reading today’s beautiful, heart wrenching article by Kathleen Carey, we would never know that there were a number of people who truly cared for Elva right in our midst.

Even the people who cared for Elva are often scorned by the locals. City Team Ministries is well known for their drug and alcohol recovery residency. The men in their program aren’t considered by many to be our model citizens. City Team feeds the poor daily, but in so doing, the long line of hungry folks seeking a meal stretches down 7th Street and is an eye sore for passersby coming in or out of the Chester business district. Yet, today’s article shows us the love and care City Team staff and residents had for Elva by talking to her and looking out for her.

Who knew Elva could sing like a bird or regularly attended services at St. Paul’s church? Who knew she gave away her money to people more needy than herself, or that she lost her husband and twin children at birth? Who knew that Elva slept on the street every night in the same location amongst piles of trash and rubble? Who knew anything about Elva except that she was the lady who cursed and screamed at herself all day long?

How precious is it that St. Paul’s and City Team refuse to let this homeless lady go out as a Jane Doe and have arranged a going home service for Elva?

For all the bad news, scandal, misinformation, and horror stories the Daily Times has written this year about the city of Chester, they absolutely come clean, in my book, for this compelling story about a human being that appeared to contribute to all that is wrong with Chester. Yet, without this story, we learned that the love shown by City Team and St. Paul’s contributes to all that is right with Chester.

Thanks Daily Times. Awesome work.

Click HERE for the article