There were many, many visitors to the van this evening. I believe we served 50 + people, some simply wanted cold water and others took the bags as well as the water and juice. There were people waiting for us when we arrived a little before 5:30 pm and we were busy until 7:00pm, a steady flow of people in need.
Along with the many people we saw, there were many stories we heard. I overheard a long term person saying that because of his chronic illness, his medical bills were reaching a quarter of a million dollars and he lamented that he'd never get out from under those bills or have what he would consider a normal life. A woman shared to him that she had nothing but what she was carrying and didn't believe that she'd ever have anything beyond that. I thought about their conversation and thought how fortunate most of us are and how much emphasis is put on "things". I've learned a lot from the people on the street about wants vs. needs.
Another long term person shared that the man we refer to as the white supremacist had been beaten in an altercation by two other people. The police had not been involved and our understanding was that no one went to the hospital. It is dangerous to take the law into your own hands, I hope they will all be safe.
Shortly before we left, a woman who we had visited with early in the evening returned to talk to us. She wanted to inform us that a gentleman who is usually with the regulars was not there. It is of concern because he is in a wheelchair and quite vulnerable. I have always found it both fascinating and comforting to know that while there are many people wandering the streets, they look out for each others health and wellness and will advocate for one another if needed. It seems to me that it would be completely understandable if they were looking out only for themselves and just be selfish but that is not how it works. They have their own network and use it effectively to care for one another.
We received a pair of 5x shorts and two shirts to fit the larger man on the street, please know that he was very grateful to receive those items. Thank you so very much!
Thank you for your ongoing support of the Street Ministry. Please continue to pray for our street family, they're very special people!