Much has changed. It is freezing and wet, the heating is broken, the basement is full of sewage, they and a big brawl in the camp last night among the residents. But they have some new rooms inside the warehouse and they just had the ribbon cutting ceremony for single men's facilities in the top floor of part of the warehouse that can house 70 men (periwinkle blue hallways).
Tomorrow I will meet with Jess, Lisa's second in command, to get the pictures figured out and find out who is still here in the camp. Then we will do mandalas with them for several hours. I saw several familiar faces. I'm eager to touch base with them.
THE NEXT DAY:
I wish I could have taken a picture of the line of 10-12 people crowded into the small office and huddling in front of Jess' desk waiting to ask for blankets and sleeping bags, etc. Very colorful, very tense. It is miserable for everyone right now. Jess is handling it well and hopes to survive until Lisa returns. (She only left yesterday).
Over the last year we have developed close relationships built on mutual trust with many of the families we help. We know their names, their personal stories, and individual needs. We are fully aware that our donations are only a temporary band aid for a larger problem. A bag of groceries only goes so far, and they will be back the following Saturday for more. Sometimes, though, we can make a bigger impact in someone’s life.
Selfies with friends. Shurooq and Sasha enjoy shopping together.
Suzanne Kaufman’s colorful illustrations are a delightful pair to Alaxandra Penfold’s narrative stating “all are welcome here,” no matter one's appearance or background.