When I first started working with homeless people, I’d see them sleeping in the weirdest places and times. Sitting in a chair in a crowded noisy well-lit room. Flopped on the grassy parking strip, like today.
One guy was laying down in the middle of an alley in the hot sun in Belltown. “Buddy” I yelled at him. “Are you okay?”
He lifted his head off the pavement. “Yeah, I’m just fine,” he said, then lay his head back down. But I saw the giant warm wad of gum tangled in his hair, and knew that he was that fine.
But today, there was a youngish woman alongside the Nightwatch building. She did not look to be in any great distress, and she had taken some care to lay down with her things next to her, much like someone might do on a sunny day in a park. She was sleeping and breathing comfortably, so I didn’t really think much about it.
But God bless one of our Nightwatch senior residents. He nudged her and asked if she was okay. “Just hungry, that’s all,” she told him. He brought her some treats from his room, she sat up, ate a bit and was on her way.
Now I’m feeling ashamed. But thankful for our senior tenant’s concern.