It was 91 degrees today as I walked along the hot humid sticky street they call Market. I decided to cut up to Arch Street going North on 8th. I turned onto Arch and as I walked just past the parking lot, I heard a woman’s voice calling out…..hey mister…. I looked left and saw a young Black woman with 2 kids sitting on some cardboard. I walked down the street and asked her what the heck she was doing here. She said she and the family came down here to look at an apartment. Her boyfriend had the money and said he’d be right back a day and a half ago. He never came back, no cellphone, no money for the apartment and no money to eat or use transportation.
I got this wretched feeling brewing in my stomach. After a few minutes I went to get some water and some Vietnamese hoagies for them to eat. So of course beings the Nam Vet and wanting to help everyone, I asked what she planned on doing. Sh said she had to get this apartment cause it was a great deal and she could paint it and get money off the security deposit. I asked where she intended to get the money and she immediately said that The LORD would provide.
The stomach thing is now quickly moving to the heart. I told her to hang there and I’ll be back……well, I had no cash on me because I’m working some bad streets later. I have no wallet or cards with me. As I entered the Pawn Shop I wondered if the knucklehead would work with me.
I left in around 10 minutes with $450.00 cash and minus 1 Leica 50mm Summilux. He said I had 90 days to get it out and no one would touch it. As I entered the street where she was sitting, I thought if I was doing the right thing. It felt right because she was real, no tracks on her arms or legs, no signs of drugs etc. So I smiled and she asked me where I went. I showed her the money and she said….I told you The Lord would provide.
We all walked to the corner and she paid the man inside the store the $350.00 and he gave her the keys. I helped her get upstairs and gave her my cell # if she needed it. She smiled and hugged me and cried…..I almost cried too but of course Streetshooters don’t cry, they make photos so others can cry.
Anyway, it’s that time of the year again when the Homeless Advocates Group gets very active and me too……..