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Saturday, Sept. 18

This week’s highlight was getting to spend time with our good friend and original collaborator Coach, who works in the barber shop across the street. He’s been so busy cutting hair that he hasn’t been able to join us for a while, so today was a celebration. Lots of hugs all around - doesn’t matter if you are a veteran volunteer or a first-timer, you are getting a hug from Coach when he stops by, which is one of the reasons I love him. He is passionate about making positive change in the neighborhood and says we energize him, and we told him he energizes us right back.

We had more good vibes from a guest I hadn’t met before named Anthony who had a wonderfully calm and centered way about him. We had a long talk about how he has been clean from drugs for seven years and how some people just aren’t ready to get out of the life yet. He sponsors people in recovery and encourages others to go to treatment. I invited him to come back and hang out with us and talk with our guests anytime. I explained to him what we we do every week and when I said, “We try to create a positive atmosphere,” he said, “I’m gonna stop you right there. You’re selling yourself short. You all DO create a positive atmosphere.” I hope he comes back to spend time with us because he clearly has a gift for lifting people up, me included.

On a more mixed note, I did see the regular guest who needed the paramedics last week. I hugged him and told him I was so glad he was ok and that he scared me. He apologized for scaring me and said he scared himself. He wasn’t in good shape, but he is still here and I’m thankful for that at least. In a year of serving at the same spot each week, we’re seeing many more people close to overdosing in the last couple of months than we have ever seen before. I assume it’s due to the increased presence of fentanyl (a much stronger and more deadly drug that is frequently cut into heroin) on the streets. It’s heart-breaking.

Stats: 75 breakfast burritos made with straight-from-the-chicken eggs, 50 bag lunches, 5 bunches of bananas, 60 clementines, 5 gallons mango iced tea, and 80 water bottles. We also had 50 wellness kits with toothbrushes, toothpaste, and hand sanitizer.

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