Morning Watch and a Meal
After a communication snafu that left me catching up with Tim and the Morning Watch van half an hour late this morning he had already picked up the lady we usually check in on at Westlake Center and we got her to the shelter for breakfast before heading off again.
I can't remember if I've mentioned this is an earlier blog but this lady has a severe addiction to something and has her good days and her bad days. On one of her better days she was telling me how she wanted to write a story about her life and how she was frustrated by the lack of resources to do so. I've been thinking about what it would take for her to get access to the technology to write her book and I realized that people used to write books before computers existed...I know, and I don't even have a degree in history or anything! It probably won't amount to anything but I think I'll bring her a notebook one of these days so she can start writing. I'll get one of those fancy looking ones that look like they're bound in leather or something so that maybe she feels different about it, or treats it better than her other possessions...and maybe that'll help get her focused on writing her life story like she wants to. Then, if she gets started, I'll be able to help her transcribe it electronically if she wants. I am doubtful that she'll be able to focus on it over her addiction well enough to make any headway but who knows, maybe all she needs is the means to do it and a little encouragement.
We didn't see anybody else until we got down to the waterfront where we met a man who just moved here from Boston a little over a week ago. He wasn't homeless in Boston most frequently, had been before though, but for whatever reason he chose to come here and start over. We found him wrapped in blankets on the stairs of Waterfront Park by the fountain. After we got him into the van he said that he'd been praying for help just before we got there, it's nice to think that we could be the hands and feet of God for some of these people who need help. We introduced him to the welcome center staff at UGM and he went in for breakfast. Hopefully they'll set him up with a bed and give him the help he needs to get off the street quick.
While driving back up under the viaduct we saw another friend of ours that we've brought coffee to on several occasions. He's severely disabled, both overweight (3-400+?) and missing a leg from poorly controlled diabetes and past drug use. He now gets around in a wheelchair and sleeps on the concrete. We got him some coffee and talked with his friend. They are heading down to Portland so that he can get some other care. I'm not sure what he can get down there that he can't get here...not sure they are sure either, sometimes it seems easier to grasp at straws than it is to accept reality and find a way to cope with it...though that is a harsh judgement of this situation because I really have very little information.
We helped the friend jump his van because the battery was completely dead and then we went on our way.
We saw a few more folks down at the waterfront but they just took some coffee, told us we should bring sack lunches with us and kept on sleeping for the most part. And that was the morning.
I headed down with a coworker to get lunch near the convention center today. I went to Subway and saw my old friend Marc begging outside the Cheesecake Factory again...he's there quite often. I had them double my order and brought him a sandwich. He's a bit of a talker and I didn't want to keep my coworker (who went to a different sandwich place) waiting so I just said hi, told him I couldn't chat and gave him his sandwich. He was very grateful and remembered the cake I had bought him. He felt bad he couldn't remember my name so we got re-introduced. He looked a little depressed when I told him it was a turkey sandwich, but if he doesn't want it I'm positive he'll find someone who'll eat it...I just didn't want to buy him another giant piece of cake! (which likely would have happened if I'd gone and asked him what he wanted because I can only put my foot down so hard).