This photo seems like a good place to start. My apologies for being absent and not following through with a commitment. Life is pretty good at throwing struggles at you and watching you fail. Kelly for example, I introduced him at the first if the year. A man who changed my day and I spoke of many times this year, sharing his struggles and the way he affected me. Unbeknownst to me, Kelly and I had a connection. Rebecca, a good friend of mine whom I’ve known for years, works alongside the police and city to help the homeless. She does so much for them, I don’t know where to begin. I can end with, this is Kelly in his new apartment. Yes. Rebecca got him off the streets and housed. When she text me this photo today, my life changed. It was in the middle of a shit week, where I thought, “Seriously?! Anything else?” Yes, there was something else. Something good. I’ve said no more than ten words to a gentleman whose had a year of impact on me. This is humanity. Thank you, not only to Rebecca, The Pour House, but all those who donate items, time & compassion to help others have faith in a world where faith has been forgotten, like so many on the streets. I simply ask, the next time you want to clean out your closets and head to GoodWill for that extra $30, donate those items to a local organization that helps directly with those lost & forgotten. Spend an extra $5-$10 at the grocery on dry goods for someone in need.
*SideNote: I have photos, I have words I know I owe you 🙂 Thank you for your continued support!
My photography professor recently asked the class if we had ever stopped and talked to homeless and other various people on the streets. Only a couple said yes, myself included, and he asked if we had gotten interesting stories from them. The answer to that is definitely. While I did not talk to the man above very much, I have heard some interesting stories from others. Everything from a man in a wheel chair trying to get to California and get revenge on the police that broke his legs there to a former NBA player that was trying to get money for a cab. How many of these are actually true, I will never know for sure. But they are certainly interesting and the people that tell them can be wonderful and are worth stopping and talking to.
How often do you walk down a city street and pass by people like the ones above and never give them a second thought. How often do we pass by and never even see them, wrapped up in our own comfortable world. How often do you see them, but you just glance and try not to make eye contact. How often do you stop to give a dollar, because you feel a little guilty, but you keep the words to a minimum and you walk away quickly, uncomfortable with them. Do you ever stop and talk to them. Because they have names and stories and experiences. One is a musician and the other a graphic designer, artist and writer. One tunes his guitar and complains about the cold, not because he is cold but because it makes tuning difficult. The other reads his newspaper, folding and unfolding it, and he smokes. But you can see in his face the ideas and the creativity that are working. They talk to us and share their stories. One tells us about a short story he’s working on set in the future where people rely on electricity to live and they have to plug in and recharge. We move on and we will probably never see them again, but I know I will remember them. And there are countless more like them. We talk to a woman who has a cat with her, trying to get money to feed herself and the two cats she has saved. We talk to a man happier than most of the well dressed and well fed people around him who gladly poses for pictures with the biggest grin I have seen in a while. We talk to another man who has been sitting in the cold and rain, wrapped up in a coat, all day. By this time we have given away our cash and we apologize. He says, “Don’t worry about it. I try to earn it by giving directions and helping people find things. I’ve been here two years so I know the city really well.” These people are real and they are all around us. It’s good to stop and talk with them and hear their stories, because everyone has a story to tell and this is reality.
Woke up in a bad mood really for no reason other than not feeling well. Had to make my way downtown which isn’t easy for me if it’s 85 and sunny out, so I was already unhappy about it knowing … Continue reading →