Friday, November 16, 2007

There are a lot of people that like to pay quiet secret little visit's behind the fence at my work. Most of them are living on the street. Drug addicts, girls....young girls...who sell themselves for whatever they need, usually drugs. There are older people who sit on a park bench and drink, some socialize, some like to make trouble, some just like to keep to themselves and go about their business for a quick shootup behind our fence. The fence is a chainlink fence at the back side of the car lot. So, when I go outside and smell that familiar smell of 'weed' in the air, I do take a wander over to the side to check up on who's in the corner. I have a miniature battle ground to walk through when none of them are there. I walk past needles, condoms, bottle's, beer cans, medicine containers, band aids, packaging that I'm not sure about. It is a mess. It is so sad to me when I go look at this back corner where the addicts pay a visit. I have had to ask if some of them are alright...because they sure don't look it. One young girl look's like she is about 35-40 years old. She is an epileptic drug addict....she's only 22. One older gentleman set up a house with a mattress, an old blanket, and a back pack. My boss and I approached him because he was in the corner making groaning noises and talking to himself and did not look good. He was startled to see us and proceeded instantly to gather his things. We told him we were not there asking him to leave. We wanted to make sure he was ok and if he had eaten yet that day....he hadn't eaten for 2-3 days. I told him to go get something to eat from the shelter 2 blocks away. The shelter was about to open for lunch and he didn't want to be a burden.He didn't want to leave behind what meant everything to him...a mattress with urine stains, an old fur coat, a bike, and a back pack. We told him we would watch his possesions and if the city came along they could not have his things. So he lifted as best he could and tossed over the fence to us his bed and the fur coat. We went back inside took up a collection and went to buy him some food for when he came back. He never did. I am so sad. This time of year really makes me appreciate what I have. These people have nothing, but to them something as simple as someone saying good morning or giving them a book to read means the world. I'm the first on the lot on saturday's and I open the gates and always smile and say good morning. My boss went into work early one morning and made a pot of coffee and went outside and poured them all a cup with creams and sugar. They were so appreciative. A smile, a good gesture goes a long way. Someone's day is certainly made better by a simple wave or a hello. We have a gentleman that walks by everyday with a shopping cart full of cans. His name is John. John used to work on electronics in the 70's. The computer age came about, his job was finished and he never did find work again. He stop's in every few days because we told him we have lots of cans at work. He sits and talks with us and then goes about his merry way. He is so intellegent it blows my mind that he lives off of can's and bottles...and does very well!! It's cold up here in the morning's but they are all still out there...somewhere. I see them off to the side by the tracks, sitting, waiting, some start fires to keep warm. They are beside buildings, in the ally's, between vehicles or sitting beside a bush. Now these people are gone. Where did they go? Will they be around again? Are they warm enough? Are they eating? Is someone else smiling and saying good morning to them?...or are they just getting dirty looks by people who pass by them?

5 comments:

Michael Manning said...

Yes, Renae,quite sad. Your story reminded me of a cool program that once existed in Minnesota. If you saw a homeless person and wanted to help, you handed them a cardboard thathad a quarter (for a phone call) embedded inside and the number of a cab company that regularly billed the shelter. The incoming person would have to be examined by a doctor and treated for drugs or alcoholismand once they were clean and able, they had to get a job. But they had a space to sleep and three hot meals and showers with clean clothes always. I don't know if this still exists. But as I read this I was hopeful it did! I too am quite grateful for everyday and glad you reminded me! :)

Kate said...

very good article Renae, we have those types in our town. Thus the church has done something about it. They opened up a soup kitchen and when it gets really cold in the winter , the street people can come in and get a meal and stay the night. CCF is doing what they can for the community and helping to keep the crime down by helping out that way! God was using you in that area, and you did not turn your eyes the other way, He knew your heart. . When you "Do' unto others the Lord says it's like your doing it for HIM!!! Way to go, bless you! Love MOM

Granny Annie said...

Renae, this was quite a moving post. I have to admire your ability to move in a direction toward these people who could possibly do you harm. I did stop a moment from my sympathy when you said John had not worked since the 70's when computers took away his electronics work. I believe drugs and alcohol took away his work. Clean and sober people can find some kind of work to do even if it isn't in their chosen field. Regardless, you and your boss are a special breed willing to reach out and that is such a blessing to those touched by you.

LZ Blogger said...

Renea ~ "THERE BUT FOR THE GRACE OF GOD GO I!" Your actions there reminds me of the time Mother Theresa was asked, "how she could stand working with those AIDS patents and lepers?" Her answer was, "I look at each one of them as if it was Jesus!" Sorts of sums it all up! We have MUCH to be thankful for! BLESS YOU! ~ jb///

Sharon said...

Thanks for this gentle reminder at Thanksgiving. I serve meals at a shelter for my church. They are the most grateful group of people..sometimes I think they are more grateful for the conversation than for the food.
Good post.
S.