Kensington was overwhelming today. It was very cold, so the number of people we talked with was a little smaller than usual.
D at K&A borrowed my sharpie to write down a phone number, and then asked if he could keep the sharpie. I hesitated and he said, “I want to use it to make a sign because I’m homeless. Please.”
A young man at Huntingdon said thank you for the food and then “you treat us like we’re human.”
Finally, we dropped off sleeping mats (crocheted from plastic bags) and food to an abandoned warehouse where a bunch of people sleep. P told us the mats would come in handy – that now he can actually use his blanket to cover himself instead of sleeping on top of it. We were overwhelmed by the conditions there. Piles and piles of trash, tents and mounds of blankets for people to sleep on, a small charcoal grill to keep warm, makeshift shelves for storing their belongings (and where they put the food we gave them). I can’t begin to explain how awful it was. How do we as a city, as people with hearts and a conscious, allow this to happen? How do we change it?
Some days the way up and out of addiction and poverty and homelessness seems so incredibly overwhelming.