Saturday!

Things didn’t go as planned on Saturday November 14th, the day after my father’s birthday. I miss him so and the candle was bright that night!

I could hear the young man shouting, “HELP, HELP, HELP,” from inside his apartment at the end of the hall despite the fact that there are numerous paramedics and police officers at his door and other’s standing under the resident’s balcony in case he attempts suicide. Wouldn’t be a nice thing to see if he dares. Brought back memories of 2 years ago when a distraught woman who I knew personally and living above me decided to block her apartment entrance with a heavy dresser and jump from her balcony ending her life in plain view on the bloodied concrete below. Never will I forget that sight and I can only hope she is in more peace than those who bore witness to the incident!

Back to Saturday afternoon in TCHC. Apparently he was taunting, screaming and throwing knifes out the window. Threatening to shoot if anyone tried to enter, which is why the cops knocked upon Cathy’s door (she lives across from this man) and told her to take the dog and get out of her apartment for her “own safety”. I peeked my head out and was instructed to stay inside! When I heard the swat team arrive it was the last straw and decided to cancel an impending visit with my amazing 7 year old granddaughter. My anxiety was at a high level and since the last incident involving this person and the police lasted hours and hours I felt it was for the best.


All resources were at hand and eventually after barricading inside for 3 hours the situation was diffused and the patient carried off in a stretcher, calm as could be with cigarette in hand. I recall meeting his parents when they helped to move him in 5 months ago and they seemed so thrilled he’d found a sanctuary. My heart goes out to all involved. After the fact, in need of fresh air and better vibes, out the side door I went running into 3 more cops who were rather sarcastic when I told them in passing that this whole thing had screwed up my family visit.

Afterthought – When it was mentioned to me later that this kid was white and therefore privileged and deserved more than a free ride to the hospital after all the trouble caused, I agreed. In hand cuffs at the very least! Had he been black the outcome may have been different. Very possible! It is what it is!

Quotes from Streets: It is what it is!

“I yam what I yam and that’s all that I yam,” Popeye the Sailor Man.popeye

“Do you want a job?” the middle aged man inquires while idling his pickup with a younger co-worker smiling and digging his pocket for change in the passenger seat. Not the first time someone has asked her this, before departing on the green light without a solid lead.

“What kind of job?” the panhandler replies, curious as always. Continue reading “Quotes from Streets: It is what it is!”

Diversity of Compassion

*previously published on http://www.homelessguide.com/

The morning sun brightens Streetgirl’s long hair and tans her face as she stands at the ramp holding a sign that says, “BROKE + HUNGRY – PLEASE HELP – GOD BLESS – PEACE.” A line from the chorus of a Rag’N’Bone Man’s song is rolling repeatedly through her mind, “Don’t put your blame on me.”  The earworm has been wedged for days, but should clear out soon to be replaced by another. Last week it was The Beatles, “Here comes the sun.”

On the red light a female driving a black van and wearing a niqab pulls to a stop. She happens to lock eyes with Streets who beams broadly, because that is the way she is. It’s impossible to tell if the devout Muslim smiles back from beneath the heavy veil, but she is moved by the moment, reaching for her clutch and scooping out a handful of coins to pass to the panhandler without a word.

Soon after, a woman of Asian descent, behind the wheel of a small red car, silver electrical tape holding the side mirror together and rust circling the door; she stretches out her arm with an offering of two sweet clementine in hand. Continue reading “Diversity of Compassion”