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Team W9: 3:30am. We went out two-by-two this morning. First stop, three individuals sleeping on the parking.
One team woke up a middle aged man who, at first, declined to be interviewed. But as the interviewers continued to just visit with him, he opened up and agreed saying, “I’m going to trust that you are here to do only what you say you are going to do.” As he completed the survey with us, his openness, honesty, and vulnerability were very touching. He has been living on the street for about 10 years. He was very clear in his answers and lucid. He had three years of college. He does not receive benefits of any kind or have health insurance. After he completed the survey he agreed to having his photo taken. He sat up. He was good looking, friendly, with a good sense of humor. He seemed to have adapted to using the existing services. But I wondered what would be possible for this man if we were able to say – “here’s the key to your own place”.
While our other team was interviewing two individuals, we could hear them all sharing a good laugh together. We also interviewed a gentleman sleeping at the bus stop. He was unaware that he was sitting about half a block from a food back, a feeding program, and showers. Another man who looked in need of care was sleeping near the park. When we approached him, he said “not now, come back later”. I hope we can.
After each interaction with the human being behind the label “homeless”, I feel the need to go cry. With each connection it is a little harder to numb myself to their plight. It is a little harder to convince myself that their problems are not my problem. It’s a little harder to stand by and watch their exile. Many of those being interviewed receive services with nearby GettLove and recognize Sonny and Keegan. One of the main operating principles of GettLove is companionship. GettLove is one of the points of light in Hollywood…
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