Thursday, March 29, 2012

A Purse


Waiting outside Jimmy's, a couple of friendly faces ap- proached. Clint rode a Mongoose and didn't care for any food--he didn't want to take any food from the homeless, he said--but he was interested in a couple of pillows. After a few years of struggle that included losing his mother and falling into a world clouded by immorality, he's finally on a positive road with steady work.

Bob talked about roofing some buildings at KSU, and told stories of his decades of roofing and how his shoulders and knees ache from the work.

Carl used his nunchucks once to help a girl who had a demon following her. Unfortunately, one of us thought he used a Wii to defeat his foe.

We found that our buddy Perch is recovering at the hospital after an ugly turn of events. Please think happy thoughts for him.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Washclothes on the Chest


Special stop on Allyn St. to meet the benevolent Aunt Sherry. She opens her property to the homeless who pitch tents in her yard or make the her front porch home. In 2002, a dear friend of hers was left out in the winter cold--he died uselessly, homeless. Sherry dedicates herself to efforts to stop such pointlessness.

He's a large man. His hand engulfed mine when we shook. Last week he lived in one world, but this week he lives in another, a gloomier more complex world. Keith lost his son and job almost like a flash of light, and that light has left him disoriented and confused. His feelings poured onto the concrete with bitter reality. Though battered, Keith recognized the power and energy of the students' visit. We joined hands in hope.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Vitamin D is good for the soul


It was the first night we had some daylight past 6:30. Naturally our spirits were high from the summer-like weather and increased vitamin D from the sun as we set out to what was a pretty busy night. The night turned out to be an unconventionally conventional night as we went to all the same stops, with a few impromptu locations sprinkled in, but everyone's attitudes were just brighter. I guess when you aren't waking up outside to freezing temperatures you can enjoy life a little more. Who knew.

John told me after he found out about his blown out tire he got notice he needs to move his car out of the parking lot he has been staying in. His car is the roof over his head. Ran into a new acquaintance tonight by the name of Rhati, but he goes by Jamaica. Ended up having a lively conversation about Ghana. His father hails from there. Had a rather large crowd in the alley where the t-shirt brigade was out and in full form. Mama has lost a considerable amount of weight and looking good with her boot on her foot. She was sitting on the other side of the room when we came in to see her. Every little step counts.

P.S. If anyone has any left over Valentine's Day candy, stuffed animals or hearts please please consider giving it to project H.O.P.E. We need to make a late V-Day basket.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

3 Bikers


Given some quick early stops, we reached the Blue Bridge early and met up with David and Carl--a couple of friends I hadn't met before.

Carl talked about losing his unemployment benefits back in November, which eventually landed him in the Haven. Now he's been in the woods for a couple of weeks.

The two tried to convince the kids to stay in school and not get into trouble. They both related excerpts of their lives. They both claimed to "have it all" at one point, but drinking, drugs and infidelity left them stranded with nowhere to go. Carl spent seven months in the penitentiary back in the 80s. He described it as 7 Months of Hell.

Many of our friends moved a little farther down the tracks to avoid being ousted by the Akron authorities. Apparently, there had been an argument between one of their friends and a CSX representative, and when that happens, it becomes a Federal affair--not good.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Leap HOPE

We sat on Jimmy's stoop enjoying the mind bogglingly warm February 29 evening. We watched ominous clouds stretch toward us like a reaching hand draped in a Dementor's cloak. And then it drizzled for two minutes.

Tagging along on this evening was Hoban grad Britny, who's working on her master's and wanted to talk with some of our friends. She fit in quite easily.

A solemn mood hung heavy under the Blue Bridge, weighing shoulders low. Recently, Akron Police notified some of our friends along the tracks that they would have to pack up and leave their campsites. They have until Monday to comply with threats of arrests and fines. Where do they go? Where do they store their stuff? They didn't have answers to these questions.