It is a cold, cold world
The day started off good at first. It was freezing cold, icy roads, and dangerous drivers. Well, my schedule had nothing
on it, so I decided to go out and drive around checking on the youth who may be walking up and down the empty streets. When I reach downtown, it was bear with one or two people in business corners laying on the concrete with small thin blankets covered in snow, scattered about. It was very heart breaking to see this. I did not have any hot food or drinks with me. I did not want to wake them. When it is freezing cold, your body just don’t want to move. Subconsciously, you think it’s going to get warm, but that would be a lie. But I knew that was not all.
I continue to drive around and finally made a stop in one of the big parking lots we normally set up our street outreach briefings. I waited for 15 minutes. As soon as I was about to leave a youth waved me down not to leave. I put my truck in park, got out to see what he was needing. All he wanted was food. I politely gave him a snack bag I had in my truck. My truck was full of clothes, hygiene, medical supplies, and much more. He seems to not want any of those items. We wish each other well, told him I love him, stay warm and went reaching out to other spaces. Not long, one block away I caught eye to three individuals I notice walking. I notice one who was very short. As long as I have been out, I notice that stature anywhere. I drove around to see, if it was who I thought it would be and it was three who I knew. I ask them, where they were going. They responded, “The warming center was close”. I looked at my watch and it was only 9:06am!
How could that be? They stated that they were very cold and had nowhere else to be and didn’t know where to go. I told them to meet me at the hotel. While they were walking two blocks away to the hotel, I went over to the warming center to find out it was not open! What! I was upset by this. It was stated in the news the warming center would be open until January 4th, from 8am-8pm; it’s January 1st. Homeless does not end because of a new year. O well, couldn’t do anything about it. I went over to the hotel to meet the youth. They were inside waiting for me. I took them upstairs to meet other youth, who were in the same hotel, to share a room for the night. We were glad they were able to be somewhere warm to rest for the day and night.
With very few resources to provide food, a few other youths helped to prepare a hot meal for all eight kids. This was a meal fit for a King. It took us all day to fix this meal, but we got it done at 5:30pm. We traveled back to the hotel to meet the others with the food. They were very grateful and appreciative. I was glad we were able to give them something hot and satisfying.
But this is not the end. No way it is. Where are they going after the hotel ends? There are not enough spaces to house them. It feels like we are swimming upstream; big mountains lay ahead with no clear in sight. Is it me or is it the holidays?