I had to teach a class this morning. As soon as I was free I called David Smith and met him at Blue Coffee Cafe in Durham,NC. He and Milton had been out all morning meeting the homeless and looking around the city. The early morning found them on the top of a parking deck. They looked over the edge into an enclosed alley and found a man sleeping on the ground. So compelling was the scene they snapped a picture. The man sleeps on a thin pad with a light blanket. The trash around indicates he has been "living" here for some time. David and Milton decided to let the man sleep and return later to find the alley.
After we had a short conversation at the cafe the three of us set out on a small quest to locate the "secret" alley where the gentleman in the picture "lived". We returned to the top of the parking deck and peered over the wall into the alleyway. No one was there but it was evident after a closer look that two people are living in this alley. We returned to the streets to attempt to locate the alley. After walking around a block we ducked down an alley and recognized the street level view. We found a small opening that led into the enclosed alley but did not enter. We did look around and found a shopping cart full of clothing that probably belongs to the men that "live' in this "secret" enclosure. We hope to find the inhabitants to love and care for them with what we have, God's love, some food, a sleeping bag, clean socks and some toiletries.
If you have noticed the nights are getting cooler and the sunlight getting shorter. By mid October many of you will have heat in your homes and will be donning sweaters and sweat shirts. From the look of the shopping cart these men have no warm clothes, nor do they have warm bedding. We will attempt to return and help them in any way we can but, funding will be needed for us to help people like this long term.
This is happening in Durham, NC. The city was just chosen this week by CNNMoney.com as the #1 place in the country to retire. Great medical care, good housing, world class entertainment and high incomes were just a few of the reasons Durham was chosen. With all the pats on the back the leaders of Durham will be giving themselves, I hope they will be filled with compassion for those who sleep on the streets of the fair city.
As a child of God I cannot ignore the plight of the man sleeping on the ground or the hundreds like him in and around the Triangle. Pray for us and consider helping us.