Etiel and I are so grateful for your donations so that street people can stay warm as the weather cools. We pray for rain, yet it's very difficult on those who have no place to go. Having all of the wonderful BRAND-NEW (such a big deal for all the street dwellers) socks, hats, gloves, knitted scarves, coats, jackets, sweaters, etc is such a treat for them. I just came back from the area in front of the homeless shelter, which, in case you don't know, does not offer shelter, food, lockers or showers to people on the street any longer. The shelter only serves families with kids who go through the long process of bureaucratic paperwork and make it through, some people who have graduated from a detox program, and few lucky people who are intelligent and awake enough to jump through county, state & federal hoops enough to get served. This means they need to get enough sleep for their brains to function well. The only service offered there is medical, and that still needs people to have the patience and ability to fill out forms.
Most of the people to whom I bring food and clothing crawl under a roof or doorway in a business that's closed for the night and get shoo-ed away at dawn. They hang out around the shelter because it's the only place that people don't kick them out. And there's a big roof under the medical office for their protection.
When I brought all the generous warm items you all contributed, a woman named Julie stepped up and said, "I'll help you pass these out to people who need it." She started calling names and people appeared from all corners of the buildings and fences. She picked up the beautiful, brand-new white men's socks with the Costco label still on it and said, "James, these are for you." I stood around for awhile to talk with people and wanted to help pass out clothing. By now, Julie had a couple of people helping her, none of whom were there when I first drove up. They had everything very organized within 5 mins, and there was nothing for me to do. I told them that my community really wanted to assist them all as I introduced myself and shook hands, asking their names. After about 10 mins, Julie looked at me and said, "Don't worry, I'll make sure that everyone gets what they need."
I got the feeling that I should go now....a few more people thanked me. Now that they had what they needed, I stood out as "one who didn't quite belong." It certainly wasn't about me and I became unneeded. It was amazing to watch them act like any other community and help each other out in a very organized way because they had some goods and something to do. I got in my nice warm car to drive to my nice warm home on the Westside, saying prayers the whole time.
Etiel came over to my house today to pick up some of the clothes so that she can keep them in her car and pass them out to people in other places. since our shelter-area dwellers are taken care of for the moment.
Bless Their Souls as they find their way through life and Bless Us All that we may create a society where all receive what they need.
Open Your Heart & Sing YOUR Song!