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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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Saturday, September 2, 2017

But Wait... Don't Wait...

Dear LORD, I repent of my sins. 
I accept you as my LORD and Savior.  
Lead me. Guide me into your Way. 
In Jesus Name I pray. Amen.

These words, or at least words very similar, were wholeheartedly prayed under the bridge two weeks ago by Bob and Sue as Pastorish George guided them following a discussion of accepting Christ as their LORD and Savior.[1]

Within minutes, Pastorish George drove Bob and Sue to Episcopal Hospital to enter detox and to take the first steps toward a clean and drug-free life.  They arrived at Episcopal Hospital around 1:00 pm.  Around 7:00 pm, Bob called Pastorish George to say that Episcopal Hospital was telling them to leave due to a snag in the paperwork.  This snag could have been easily corrected by Episcopal Hospital and wasn’t.  The end result was that Bob and Sue, after days of trying to fix the issue themselves have given up trying to get into detox and are still on the streets, under the bridge, using their drugs and, given the deadly nature of what’s on the streets these days, are playing Russian Roulette with their lives as they do so.

But wait…

During these two weeks, The City of Brotherly Love has come along two times and evicted Bob and Sue and everyone[2] else from under the bridge.[3]  If Bob and Sue move back to the bridge, and The City of Brotherly Love comes along again, and they will, they run the risk of being taken to jail with a legal charge of some kind that goes beyond my understanding.[4]


One week ago, on a Friday, I took Ralph to the treatment center of his choosing.  For reasons that go beyond this blog, this particular center in The City of Brotherly Love was the best for his situation.  We arrived at 1:30 pm, well within their office hours of 8 to 5.  We were told that the new intakes, that is, new patients, can only be seen and entered into the system up to 1:15 pm each day – 15 minutes before our arrival.  This being a Friday, Ralph had no choice but to continue to buy his medicine off of the street for at least the next couple of days and play Russian roulette with his life.

This is an example of three people among countless other people who would love help with ending their addictions… who would love to get and be clean and can’t get clean when they are ready to get clean because the system for getting them clean can only work at its own overwhelmed pace and no faster.

But wait…

What if Ralph was a woman alone on the streets?  Not all but many women raise funds for their addictions by renting their bodies for an hour or so to ‘men’ who don’t give a rip about them as being the children of God who, in fact, they are.  If Ralph was actually “Rachel,” she would continue to run the risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease and incarceration for prostitution over this weekend of not being given the treatment that she sought when she was ready to seek it.

Looking just at these three people: Three sets of parents, countless siblings and numerous offspring and aunts and uncles and childhood friends, etc… run the risk of losing their loved one simply because the system currently in place cannot accommodate the need when the owner of the need is ready and willing to have their need met.


City of Brotherly Love, You can do better than this!

But Wait…

Churches of Philadelphia:

You can do better than this! 
  • Philadelphia is The City of Brotherly Love. You are the Body of Love Itself! 
  • You are Philos: Brotherly Love! 
  • You are Agape: Unconditional Love! 
  • You represent the Love of the Savior! 
  • You represent the Compassion of The Christ!

Don’t Wait…

[1] As a reminder, names in my blogs are almost always changed.  “Pastorish” is a term I’m using here to describe a person who is acting in a pastoral way but is not a licensed pastor.  I need to give credit where credit is due.  That term comes to me courtesy of Kelly (which may or may not be her real name) who keeps a list of people who visit the bridge and documented my name as “Pastorish Chris.”
[2] I’ve estimated as many as 50 people living there at one time.
[3] As of this writing, the city evicted everyone, yesterday, 9/1/17, after a 30-minute warning. During the eviction, one woman overdosed and was saved with Narcan by compassionate bystanders.
[4] not necessarily drug related

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