Sunday, November 9, 2014

Homeless Dollar

Some mornings when I go in to work there’s a homeless guy sleeping at the entrance to my building. I don't usually see his face because he’s huddled up and well-covered. But I know it’s the same guy, because he always uses a stuffed toy monkey as a pillow.

I’m an early riser and am almost always the first one to arrive at work. Outside it is deserted. I’ve been entrusted with a building key, along with keys to our seventh floor office. 

With the weather turning colder I know it is only a matter of time before I’ll have to let this sleeping guy or one of his buddies into the lobby to warm up. Sometimes the building door has been left ajar, so they could get in anyway.

There are quite a few homeless people in this area, an older, commercial and residential part of Denver. The building where I work is attractive to those seeking shelter, because of a wide overhang that is useful in inclement weather. I always have a dollar or two in my pocket to give one of them, should they ask. It's in my right front pants pocket.

There are homeless people on the streets of cities all over the United States and the world. It's tempting to pass them by and not see them. It is easy to pass them by. It isn't so easy to not see them.

Nor is it easy to do something about a serious social problem. I'm not kidding myself: handing out the occasional dollar doesn't do any good at all. Throw the bums a dime in your prime, etc etc. But I must recognize their humanity. The other day the guy with the monkey pillow woke up as my key hit the lock. He yawned, looked at me, and said, "Good morning."