I accompanied my roommate to a soup kitchen at his church, and here's what I learned.
1. Not all soup kitchens serve soup: some serve pizzas. We got 18 free ones donated from the place across the street.
2. One guy likes to put salad dressing in his coffee every week.
3. The patrons who chose to stay for an art class afterwards got to make snowflakes out of paper plates, and it occurred to me, do these guys really want to think about snow when they have no shelter and a harsh Chicago winter right around the corner? Maybe we can make some suns or something.
4. But, I shouldn't make fun of this lady because she was doing a really great job and doing an extremely nice thing with her time. I'd really like to start a blog page where I post compositions of some of these guys, helping them edit, type, or whatever, crafting their stories. You know these guys have some great stories to tell, and I could share my gift of writing . . . Or I could just hand out slices of pizza every couple of weeks.
5. Why don't homeless guys in Chicago take all that money they beg and save for and buy a plane ticket to go somewhere warmer? I can't stand being outside for more than a half hour when it's cold - how do these guys stand it all day out there? It's so sad, but so strange that they don't get the hell out of here.
6. My roomy told me that at an art and poetry exposition of these guys recently, they had their biographies. I was wondering if it would be better to include the circumstances that led them to homelessness, how long they've been on the streets, where they sleep, and things like that, or would it be better to not touch on that at all to focus on who they are as human beings. Or, would ignoring the fact that they're homeless be not mindful of their situation, and is reminding people of it important to their plight?
Anyone ever work with the homeless? Any thoughts?