I can’t change everything but I can change this one thing. A homeless man comes in from the cold, takes off his leaking boots, and peels away the socks he’s been wearing for months. But he has no clean socks, so once he warms… Continue Reading “One”
Is there possibly a cruder phrase than ‘she’s on the rag?’ We hear it now as a nasty, sexist reference but it wasn’t all that long ago that this was a woman’s monthly reality. My mother told me that when she was a teenager growing… Continue Reading “Time of the Month Club: Indignity Prevention”
It’s that time of year again when we are collecting up things to give to people who are homeless. Gloves, mittens, hats, scarves, sleeping bags. Here. Doing a little urban camping right now? Here’s a nice blanket. I sound cynical. I’m not really, I’m… Continue Reading “Instead of Mittens, How About a Job?”
We just finished the third Time of the Month Club donation drive. The ending tally was 28,776 tampons, pads and wipes for women who are homeless in Milwaukee. The supplies are delivered to emergency shelters and outreach programs and put to use right away.… Continue Reading “28,776 Times”
No more asking strangers for help. No more begging. It’s bothering us. We’re going to make it against the law. Then we can issue municipal citations which people will be unable to pay. After a while, their unpaid fines will land them in jail… Continue Reading “We Need Panhandlers to Tell Us the Truth”
He didn’t know what to make of it. Hearing the hammering outside, knowing now that the last window was boarded up. It had been the secret little doorway to his new home. And now he was stuck. There would be no getting out without… Continue Reading “Home Alone”
That it was dark didn’t worry him much, more that the board-up man might have nailed the last window shut, the one he’d been using as the door to his little place, home would be airtight now, no more coming or going.
Talked today with a woman just retired from the shelter she founded years ago, she beamed describing bringing homeless people inside, hardest to serve, rough, drunk, rule-breakers, her people, ‘there but for fortune’ she told me, no distance between us and them.
“Don’t drop me at the corner. Go up two blocks and turn right. I wanna show you something,” he said, picking up the Chicken Nuggets box and the plastic barbecue sauce packets, sucking the last life out of his giant soda and cramming it all into… Continue Reading “6:18”
The car still smelled like french fries from the last time. She cracked the window and looked at her phone shining like a camping flashlight on her lap. She scrolled through Facebook and her email, looking up every few seconds to check the mirrors,… Continue Reading “6:11”