Stories from the Homeless (23)

This Monday night was ridiculously hot. Breaking almost every record in the books. I am glad we decided to bring lemon-aide. Knowing how hot it was, the lemon-aide would be refreshing and greatly appreciated. We were a really small group this week. One three of us made the effort to go out but I guess sometimes that is all that is needed. In some respects, it was nice to only have a few people. We could do our own thing and walk around like we used to and start up conversations with people and hand out lunches as we felt the need to give them out. Instead of having everyone jump up and take a lunch, we went back to the basics. It was greatly beneficial.

When we showed up, we put the lemon-aide down and only handed out about a third of our lunches to people who came up. We did that on purpose so that we could walk around and bless other people who would come up later or usually never received a lunch from us before. So we hid about 10 lunches for a later experience. The lines began to form though as the lemon-aide was disbursed among the people. Many of these people were new.

Around us, there were many people with their shirts off. Skateboarding, biking, and other sports were happening all around us. It was another busy night in the park. We did what we had to do. After pouring about 5 gallons of lemon-aide, we finally had a moment to talk to a few people who had lingered around with us. Danny was one of the guys who always seem to hang out with us while we are there. I love it when he shares about how his week went. He always speaks with a smile despite his homelessness. I guess I could learn to smile a little more.

After realizing that we were most likely going to be just standing around, we decided to walk around and talk to some people, lemon-aide in hand in case anyone needed any. After a few minutes, we met up with Alvin. The thing about Alvin is that he loves to take pictures by the Love sign. He is apparently really good at it. He has been put in the Gazette of Philadelphia. Though generous gifts from people, he could pull in about 140.00 a day if he worked it well enough. There are always people who want to get a picture by the love sign but do not have the ability to do so. Since he offers his services, they usually allow him to take 2 pictures and they give him 5, 8, or even 10 dollars for his services. So he sits on the wall by the Love sign while people walk up and realize that they need his services. He always says we have a beautiful city and he likes to capture it on camera for people to see. He understands the light and the need to take the picture just right. His dream is to open up a store for photography. I told him he should take a whole bunch of pictures and get them framed and try selling them. He could make a lot of money doing that if he was good. People always look for stuff to put on their walls to make their homes more inviting. He said he would think about it. For now, he was just happy to take pictures with all different types of cameras, getting free experience with a variety of lenses and whatnot.

After a while, I met up with the other two girls who went with me. They were with this guy named Mike over a vent on the side of the Park. It was really cool. All of this air was coming up through the vent, providing a much needed relief from the heat. I had to admit that I really enjoyed sitting there and talking with Mike. After a while, we looked at our watch and realized it was almost 9:30. We got up, said goodbye and went back to our car. It was another good night with the homeless. People said, “God bless you” and thank you for all we had done for them. We realized that we were truly blessed and that we needed to give of what we had. That is why we go anyway. And for that, I am so glad.

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