Team 0565

Team 0565 by mliu92
Team 0565, a photo by mliu92 on Flickr.

Dear J-

We went to feed homeless kids tonight; going down they talked brave talk of how we would sit with the kids and listen to their problems, share the meal with them and give back in some way to the community. As it turns out we were there only to deliver the food and set up the tables before the shelter opened for the night; they wanted us out before any kids showed up because they’ve had issues with adults preying on these street kids.

While we were waiting outside a guy passed by asking us if this place was still open, huh, and boy was he sorry to hear that it was. Man, he said, man if you lived here you’d think twice about supporting them, turning the neighborhood into a hood so that he couldn’t even walk around without getting attacked. He walked on not sparing a backward glance, putting a sour downbeat on the proceedings before stopping in front of some new construction homes to get his mail, their bright pastels in sharp contrast to the vacant lot and trailer parks surrounding him.

The trains roll by. Actually, more than one went past on their commuting hours, blaring horns every ten minutes and startling us out of conversations, faltering in his wake. When we actually get inside to set up the food the lady tells us stories about the kids and how the shelter works, how Mondays are busy because they’ve been out on the street since Thursday (when they were last open), sponging or couch surfing and how young some of them are, three years old and not knowing where your next meal might be coming from or banding together in the cold night against the dark and darkness.

We are remarkably lucky, and thoughts of sharing a burrito with the kids turn to hoping that the extra we bought will go further than our own bellies. And the neighbors in their ocean-view bright seaside cottages? May never know, and that’s their loss.

Mike

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