Wednesday, November 24, 2010
I worked as a store manager for a local thrift store for 8 yrs. Around this time of year I always worried about the homeless guys and the few women that hung around out back. Most of them did the shelter thing or got help from the VA, so they were relatively looked after.
But there were 2, Eddie and Liz, who hated to be indoors. Both were older folks....Liz got tossed from a hospital in the 80's(thank you for the monetary savings, Mr. Reagan) and Edie had head injuries from his last tour in Nam. Their various advocates ie the VA tried to get them to give up their outdoors only existence, but they'd continue to sneak off . If anything really bad happened I had their advocate's phone numbers.
They tended to be targets of the local teens who thought it was funny to beat them up, burn their sleeping bags and steal what cooking/food supplies they had.
I used to keep a change jar in my office and they became my own personal charity. I'd buy the occasional pot or pan or sleeping bag and stash it in my office. Every few weeks, Eddie or Liz would wobble in all black and blue and I'd go raid my stash.
One November afternoon, the day before Thanksgiving, they both showed up and I went to my office to drag out the pots, sleeping bags and a coat I had just bought. I slipped out the loading dock door and bought them a can each of Spaghettios and Turkey noodle soup with the last of my change.
"Oh look, Eddie!, Liz yelled as she inspected the bag. "We're going to have turkey and Italian for Thanksgiving tomorrow!"
They hugged me and toddled off back to their camp.....happy with their holiday feast.
We should all be so grateful.