The return of Lil’ Pomp: Parker’s quest to keep kids off the streets|Part three: The return of Lil’ Pomp

Published 2:10 pm Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Contributing Writer

The return of Lil’ Pomp: Parker’s quest to keep kids off the streets
Part three: The return of Lil’ Pomp
Contributing Writer
Editor’s Note: The following is the final story of a three-part series about Washington native Omar Parker’s escape from street life and his subsequent journey to keep the kids of Washington safe via his work at Parker Park and through the Christian Fellowship Enrichment Organization.
Her name was Brittany Polk, and despite her tiny frame, she was the driving force in stopping Omar Parker from dealing on the streets.
Born on May 10, 1986, Brittany’s birth had a lasting affect on Omar’s sense of vulnerability and soul.
“When I started having my children, I didn’t want (enemies) to do anything to them. They could do nothing to me. I had a lot of people around me, but I didn’t want them to do anything to my children,” Parker said. “So it was either the streets, or start over with nothing, have some children and come to the Lord. I chose the Lord and my children.”
Brittany was Parker’s third child, but with his first born daughter, Taylor, living with her mom in Florida and second born daughter, Kristian, residing with her mom in California, Omar felt the women of his family were safe.
That was until that day in May.
“To be honest it was the birth of Brittany that got me thinking about changing,” Parker said. “Taylor and Kristian were with their mothers, but Brittany was staying with me … Things had to change.”
Change didn’t happen overnight. It never does. But, slowly, Parker began to contemplate getting out of the game and getting clean. With constant coaxing from his sister, Minister Darnell Woods, in 1995 Parker felt it was time to leave the streets and come back home to North Carolina.
“I owe everything to my sister, Darnell, and the Reverend Mirbel,” Parker said. “She is the one that led me to the Lord. She came to Ohio and said, ‘Man, you don’t look good.’ She kept asking me to come down south, but I wasn’t ready listen to her yet. She stayed after me, she loved me. She stayed consistent and finally I listened. I owe her a lot; I owe her everything.”
The trip back to Washington was 632 miles, but getting back to the Lord would be a much longer journey.
The man who knew little else besides being a street soldier and a ball player was now getting back into civilian life. Before he could settle down into a house and raise a family, Parker knew he had to get his house in order first. That meant no more drugs, dealing or using. It also meant not seeing his children until his personal navigation system had him headed back toward God.
“That was a real hard time in my life. It was bad, bad, bad because I came by myself. I had to leave people behind,” Parker said. “It was hard because I love my children, but I knew I had to start over. I didn’t know any trades because I had been in the street all my life, but I knew I had to learn some trades. I had to work now. I wasn’t going to have all that money. I was all by myself, and it was very, very hard. It’s still hard, but with the help of Jesus Christ and my children I had the strength to do it.”
With the love and support from his sister, Parker slowly reconnected with his inner self and his spirituality.
“My sister is my spiritual guide. She helped me out tremendously with everything,” Parker said. “When I first got here I didn’t go anywhere for two years. I didn’t even know where anything was. All I did for two years was get myself closer to the Lord, went to church everyday and prayed and stayed to myself. My sister and my brother-in-law really just helped me find myself and get closer to God.
“Being away from my children really hurt, but I didn’t have anything. I couldn’t have my children here. I told my kids that as soon as I got a place to stay, I would come and get them, and that’s exactly what happened.”
Parker calls that day he reunited with his children one of the happiest in his life, and said that the joys of blending into the community far outweigh the highs of any narcotics.
“I love it; I enjoy it,” Parker said. “I never felt self worth before. At the time I was young, I felt I could do anything, but now that I’m older and just a regular guy, I’m loving it.”
Parker’s life has done an about face. The wolf is now the shepherd. Through his work with the Christian Fellowship Enrichment Organization, Parker is desperately trying to get Parker Park, his Christian youth center up and running on 403 Harvey Street.
Lack of funds and know-how maybe be slowing him down, but odds are this “regular guy” will find a way to get it done. (Those who wish to help can contact Parker at 252-975-6742 or 216-323-1145.)
Clean and sober, Parker lives with his wife, Bitty, and travels through Washington carefree, as if he was that youngster who caused havoc in his uncle’s cafe.
I feel way more happier now being with my family. I feel like I’m the real me. When I was doing that other stuff, that wasn’t the real me,” Parker said. “The world made Omar, but now I’m back to Lil’ Pomp, and that feels good.”