I’m publishing, bit by bit on this blog, the contents of a journal I’ve kept (intermittently!) since 2003, when I first began volunteering to serve food from mobile soup kitchens to people in Dallas who are homeless.
My purpose in doing this is to share my experiences — which have been rich, moving, and, at times, challenging — and to help other people who are ‘housed’ to understand a little of the lives of some of the people I’ve met on the street, as I interpret them.
Though I strive to get beneath the surface of the street culture, my perspective here is admittedly — and could only be — that of an outsider, because I am fortunate enough to have always had a home and a supportive family network. Most of the people I’ve met who are homeless do not have such benefits.
I try to bear in mind that I cannot speak for their experiences but only of MY experience of knowing them. When I enter their world as a ‘volunteer’ I am, at best, a friend, but also, in some sense, an intruder.
Since I began, I’ve also developed an interest in collecting and distributing warm, dry clothing to people on the street, as, having many times seen individuals spend days on end in wet socks (or no socks) when the weather was subfreezing, this seems a small but important thing to do. Even if people are being fed, there seems to be this ever-present need, and, being a comfort-lover myself, I relate to it.
Thanks for reading and, I hope, commenting!