Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Homeless Woman at the Bus Stop

I'm discovering that I really love taking the bus to work.  It's the great equalizer where you meet people from all walks of life, and sometimes they tell you their stories.  Yesterday, I met an amazing engineer/artist who was friends with Harrison Ford.  Today, as I waited for the bus, I met a homeless woman who shared her story.

It was one of those rare coincidences that make me believe in higher forces.  I was sitting alone, writing in my notebook about the Town Hall meeting I attended on Monday night about the proposed homeless shelter in Fullerton.  As I was writing, a middle-aged woman walked past and stopped.

"Does that say homeless shelter in your notebook?" she asked.

"Yeah," I said, "I went to the Town Hall meeting on Monday and I'm writing about it."

"Are you a reporter?" she asked.

"Not really.  I have a blog and I'm just writing about it.  I like to write about local issues."

"There's a great local newspaper, The Fullerton Observer, that you can submit your writinig to," she said, "I'm homeless and I think this shelter would be a God-send.  Right now I stay at Mercy House, at the Armory, but it's only open during the winter months and they kick you out at 5am.  The Armory is about to close for the year and I'll have nowhere to go.  I'll probably have to go to La Palma Park and sleep on the ground.  I'm Ivy League educated but I've recently fallen on hard times and found myself homeless.  I can't afford rent.  Having a 24-hour year-round shelter would be a wonderful thing for people like me."

"I agree," I said, "But at the meeting there were a lot of people who were against it.  I'm just trying to understand it and write about it."

"Well, it's sorely needed," she said, "You should send your article to the Observer.  Good luck!"

"I may do that," I said, "And thanks for sharing your story."

Get on the bus!

1 comment:

  1. Good thing you are doing. People are confused, uninformed, indifferent about homeless. Makes me sad. Even I don't know how to help them.