Need someone to talk to? Austin woman offering free service on Hike and Bike Trail


AUSTIN (KXAN) — A walk or run around Lady Bird lake can help clear the mind, but one Austinite is offering even more.

Roni Kendall has been sitting along the Hike and Bike Trail for the past three months, waving and greeting people as they walk by.

“People are carrying a lot right now,” Kendall said.

Sitting along the trail is nothing new, but Kendall holds a sign that says “Professional Listener,” and she’s ready to listen to anyone about any topic.

In fact, she’s had a number of people stop by and talk to her.

“There was one woman that came up when I first sat down,” Kendall said. “The very moment I sat down she left her husband on the trail and said, ‘Am I reading what I am reading? Am I seeing what I am seeing?'”

Yes, she was. Kendall enjoys just listening to people and if needed she will offer advice. She says people can be more open with her than even their best friends or family.

“I am neutral, I am not a friend, a coworker, a loved one, a family member and so what is said here is confidential,” Kendall said.

The topics of discussion vary, but Kendall’s goal is always the same. Just listen.

“I know this is a message we all need right now,” Kendall said. “To ask for what we need, to connect with others and be available.”

Kendall says she hopes to continue doing this through the pandemic and beyond. She doesn’t charge, but she says a few people have insisted on paying her.

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