Thursday, October 16, 2014
Six years ago, Jam sat strung out on heroin outside St. Bernard's church. It was cold, and the stone steps felt harder and sharper than usual. I brought out my sleeping bag to give away, and Jam was all about it.
I handed it to him, and he led me around the corner where he slept on the side stoop.
He asked for a ride, and I said no. Given his condition, I thought it best not to stick him in a van with some students.
He exploded with rage and shouted heroin-inspired insults.
I didn't know him like I do now. I was intimidated but stood my ground.
Horinger showed, and Jam softened.
"I like your hat," Jam told Horinger. "You're cool." He paused, "This guy," he said turning to me, his face morphing into a craggy image resembling the side of a rocky mountain, "this guy's a @#$$%$%^$%^@^$%&$%@@#$^."
Now, Jam is off heroin, has been for six years. Last night, we reminisced, smiled, and had a great time.
Posted by Mr Milo at 12:04 PM
Thursday, October 9, 2014
|Along the tracks. Tentless.|
Weeks prior, signs were posted along the woods warning of the coming raid, informing the occupants of the tent cities that they were trespassing.
Some of our friends packed and moved down the tracks. Some friends took down their tents and laid low under some tarps away from the eventual raid. When the raid was over, they resumed their life in the tent city. Others, however, stayed, and they lost everything, from identification to the few memories they had of better days.
Beacon Journal Article
If you scroll through our 2010 blog posts, you'll find references to our friends moving away from the tracks. We lost contact with many of them after that. This happened just a little before we were told not to come back to St. Bernard's--"don't feed the homeless," like a sign at the zoo.
Posted by Mr Milo at 7:55 AM
Thursday, October 2, 2014
|Vang and Bang|
Other than three wives, Main disclosed that he killed his best friend when he was 21. In self defense, he claimed. The now 52 Main said he received only two years probation. He's learned a lot since then, he said.
We stopped by Susan's post off Perkins, and while she stood across the street at the back of our van, Horinger and I took her spot so she wouldn't lose any potential donations. Horinger held Susan's sign, while I made my own: a jack-o-lantern face. We received no donations.
Standing on the side of the road, flying a sign, we noticed the many drivers who refused eye contact or who made the awkward effort to pull well beyond us when stopped at the light, almost pulling into the crossing street.
Alley Mark, out from jail, told us how to get a panhandler's identification at the downtown police station. The double doors, not the single door. This point must be understood.
Apparently, anyone who is willing can obtain a panhandler's license. I might be getting mine soon. I like identification. Who knows what the poll workers in November will ask to see.
Posted by Mr Milo at 3:43 AM
Thursday, September 25, 2014
|Alley. ON SCHEDULE|
We stopped by his tiny apartment to provide some support and smiles. Lucas sat outside, a bandage on his face where a spider bite got infected.
He was solemn, but happy to see us. We stayed longer than usual, and when we left, we noticed his apartment was completely dark inside. The electric in his apartment had been turned off.
Not long ago, Lucas was mugged, and he lost the little bit he had.
He leans on us for support, and it's easy to forget that with all the other things we are responsible for in life.
Posted by Mr Milo at 12:27 PM
Thursday, September 18, 2014
I made my way back down Arlington toward Hoban, when I saw an older lady flying a sign. I passed her. One block, two blocks, three blocks. I couldn't get the lady out of my head. I had $20 to return to the business office with the Aldie's receipt.
I turned around and pulled into the parking lot of a shady establishment.
"Hello, I'm Greg," I announced as I stepped from the car.
"I'm Dawn," she said, dropping the cardboard sign to her side.
I told her the bit about Wednesday nights and Project HOPE and said I had some cash left over.
"What do you need it for?" I asked.
Dawn told me of her rent of $500 and that she couldn't quite make it. The rest of her family of daughters and granddaughters depended on her.
I slipped the Aldie's receipt from my envelope of cash and handed over the money.
"Can I get a picture with you, Dawn?"
"Sure," she smiled.
I placed my arm around Dawn and added, "I need proof for my business office."
For a moment, as I drove away, I thought of the now "missing" $20, but then I figured, heck with the financial formalities.
Posted by Mr Milo at 4:04 AM