Please Know...

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, October 19, 2017

I want you to know...

I want you to know the real names of every man and woman I’ve come to know and love under the Emerald Street Bridge!  But I won't tell you.

I want to post the true image of every man and woman I admire for what they’ve survived as they continue to navigate homeless and addicted life under the Emerald Street Bridge!  But you'll never see them.

I want you to know that the older bearded man hunched over on the sidewalk in a heroin stupor once pastored a church and explained to me in a depth of Godly understanding that would startle any priest the spiritual nature of what I’m doing under that bridge as I sit on the sidewalk.

I want you to know about the other older man[1] who held my hand in a ten-minute handshake as he explained the depth of pain felt by the men and women of this community of under-the-bridge residents.

I want you to know of the tears cried when a young woman knows it’s time to prepare to walk the streets as her only income to support the purchase of “medicine” to keep from getting dope sick.

I want you to know of the sorrow felt when a Dad or Mom tells me of how they’ve not seen their children in years due to their addiction.[2]

I want you to know of the insights shared with me by men and women with little to no formal education and those with advanced college degrees who can explain to you the exact reasons for the current drug pandemic and offer real and practical solutions to it.

I want you to know that homelessness and addiction in reality of circumstance does not rule out elegance in how one chooses to dress – even under a bridge.

I want you to know that a homeless and addicted woman can have a giant caring heart in spite of her tortured childhood.

I want you to know that a man can beg for money on a street corner to support his addiction and his wife and read from the writings of Aristotle.

I want you to know that NONE of these people planned to be addicted and homeless.  

I want you to know they want help and far too often can’t get it due to the hoops that must be jumped.

I want you to know that the City of Brotherly Love will be evicting these human beings again Friday morning.  

I want you to know that I’ve not yet met a Philadelphia Police officer who likes to evict these people from their bridge community.

There are so many other things I want you to know about these people.

I want you to know. 

[1] Who I affectionately refer to as “the mayor of Emerald City”
[2] Dad and Mom OF the addicted person AND Dad and Mom AS the addicted person

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