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As I come to know these fine people, they share with me more of their personal and sensitive stories. Their collective story is what I am trying to share with you as my way of breaking the stereotypical beliefs that exist. "Blog names" have occasionally been given to me by the person whose story I am telling. Names are never their actual names and wherever I can do so, I might use the opposite pronoun (his/her, etc.) just to help increase their privacy.

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Thursday, May 4, 2017

What has happened to me?!

What has happened to me?!

Earlier this evening, I was casually chatting a quarter block away from "The Tracks" section of Kensington with David and Autumn. They are a heroin addicted homeless married couple I've been getting to know bit by bit since starting to attend Urban Hope Church in September. I've been giving them granola bars and a piece of paper that has Urban Hope's weekly schedule on it. I've been sure to tell them about the addiction recovery meeting that happens every Thursday night at 7pm.

Tonight was different. I went to Kensington with the goal of finding David and Autumn and taking them to Urban Hope’s Christian Faith based addiction recovery meeting.  I know their regular routine of being at certain intersections at particular times of each day.  How ironic (to those who know my life story) that I found them tonight near Episcopal Hospital. 

As we casually chatted while standing on the street corner of B and Lehigh, I could not help but notice David’s bright blue eyes and very long beard and Autumn’s facial hair, nose ring and rotting teeth.  On this cool night, he was wearing a filthy baseball jacket while she wore a 3/4th length rather formal looking and equally filthy women’s dress coat that may have hung in a closet on the Main Line section of Delaware County a week earlier.  

We chatted about recovery and how they might get a free dinner if they went to this meeting.  I told them that I wanted them to get the help they needed and that was met with genuine smiles of appreciation.  They explained that they would like to go with me but were meeting a friend soon.  That friend was, I think, down in the Tracks.  In other words, their next hit of heroin was waiting to be purchased with the money “earned” from people with cars who think they are being helpful by giving a dollar to one of them.  Keep in mind that dollar innocently given when added to the other nine dollars innocently given may equal their death if that $10.00 heroin hit is too strong or something other than heroin – and it often is these days. 

I returned to my car and as I did, they briskly walked past me on their way to the tracks.  I called out to them and asked what type of fruit they like.  Autumn likes oranges and David likes Grapefruit.  We laughed about how much I hate grapefruit and then they went on to, presumably, make their heroin purchase.  I went on and drove over the bridge seen in the opening seconds of this documentary and to the store to buy oranges and grapefruit for a total of $6.66 (Did the demon of addiction find its way into my fruit purchase?)

I didn’t find them to give them any fruit because they were most likely under that bridge with their heroin or dead under that bridge from that heroin lased with something else.  I hope I see them Sunday…

What has happened to me?

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