On the Street

On the Street

by the Rev. Bob Olsen, Deacon, St. George's, Carmichael

Over the last 18 months I have been working with a young man and his mother who are homeless. I have learned a lot from them.

First off, while social agencies have been working with the homeless for years, they seem surprised that homeless folks don’t have an address when filling out forms. Actually this young man and his mom do have an address: from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. they can usually be found at Peet’s Coffee. Then it is over to Del Taco from noon to about 4:00 p.m., or to McDonald's depending on who the shift manager is in the early evening. Around 6:30 p.m. it’s time to settle down for the night in “their” spot in an alley.

Secondly, I learned that some of the budget hotels raise their rates by $5.00 a night for the first week of the month, as that is when the homeless get their assistance checks and try to get out of the cold or heat for a few days.

Working with this family, I’ve come to realize that my day to day activities don’t include being concerned about shift managers at fast food restaurants, an address on a county form or worry about running out of minutes on my pre-paid phone so I can get information about up-coming medical appointments. Simple things aren’t so simple on the street.

1 comment (Add your own)

1. Diana Lueckert wrote:
Thank you. I would like to hear more.

Thu, September 11, 2014 @ 12:18 PM

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