Urban neighbors

Wandering through the streets of the city

Beauty, dirty, ugly, sad, broken, small.

I never expect to find beauty in the downtown area. I expect to see, hear, and smell people, places, and things that have been downtrodden, that have nothing left but their own life. I will openly admit that I am scared of being downtown alone so often. My office is in a run-down one-story black building on the corner, straight down from the baseball field.

If I walk a block or two, I will come across the Denver Coalition for the Homeless. It makes me uncomfortable, all these people milling about. If I pull up to a stop light and there is anybody standing or walking near my car, I will turn up my music and lock the doors.

I cannot deny my aid to anyone. I can count on one hand the number of times I haven’t given money to someone who walked up to me and asked for it while I was downtown. So, knowing my own weakness, I avoid eye contact and walk quickly past them or roll my windows up because I know I won’t refuse if asked.

Writing this out makes me feel even worse about not doing enough to help that community, many of whom are veterans and people who have families and loved ones just like me.

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4 responses to “Urban neighbors

  1. I love visiting areas like that, although they are quite scary at times because of the people who have nothing to lose. I know what you mean – I wish I could do more to help people, but it’s hard to know what to do. Giving them money to possibly buy alcohol with doesn’t seem to be helping much. It’s difficult to know how to help.

    • On ocassion, when my friend asks me far enough in advance, I will go with him and the church to which he belongs and will run a soup kitchen and toiletries thing. I’ve always enjoyed it and I wanted to get another degree in Non Profit Management or something similar to be able to help out more effectively, but I didn’t find a degree program that fit my needs.

  2. I always feel so bad because I’m as broke as a lot of them. I wish I could help out more, but at the same time I feel so powerless.

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