Earlier, I helped a homeless man find a shelter to stay at downtown (the church I live in used to be a shelter). I called around to a few of the local missions and as I suspected they were all full. But they referred me to City Hall, which had apparently opened its doors to allow for the influx of people needing shelter from the artic air.
On nights like tonight you can lie down to sleep and never wake up.
Just a minute ago I heard a noise below my window. I jumped up to see what was happening and saw a man I had seen before. He was homeless and what I assumed to be mentally unstable. He used to live in the University District (where I used to live) but lately he has been showing up right outside the church. He wears the same clothing all the time. For some reason he also wears this hat encased by plastic grocery bags. I’ve never spoken to him simply because I don’t know what to say. Well, tonight I decided to go down and attempt to speak with him to see if he needed help finding a place to stay. I threw on some pants, grabbed my jacket and walked downstairs to the ground level. I opened the door and asked him if had a place to stay tonight. He seemed nice enough, if anything a bit skittish, and replied quietly in a sort of high-pitched voice, “yes”. He picked up his plastic trash bag (his only possession as far as I could tell) and quickly shuffled off down the street. I think he thought I was asking him to leave. I couldn’t invite him to stay in the church because I didn’t have that authority and I really didn’t know how to explain to him that I wanted to help him but i was limited with my resources. So I went back inside, said a prayer and climbed the stairs back to my warm room.
Sometimes living in a city surrounded by so much humanity kills me. God help him find a place to stay tonight.