Our dear friends on the streets of Kensington endure many inappropriate and derogatory titles from people who know no better and take no time to better understand what's going on in that person's world. I won't repeat any of these titles here with the exception of the one I'd like to address in this blog:
According to Wikipedia, A zombie is a mythical dead person who has returned to life as a walking corpse. Mythical things that have been "re-animated" are called undead, and a group of them can be called the living dead. The Zombie myth came from the Caribbean.
To the stigma focused eye of a person traveling down Kensington Avenue, the men and women of the streets might seem to be zombie-like with their mannerisms and behaviors. "Dipping" is not the behavior of a zombie. It is the evidence of being high in an addiction, (more properly known as Substance Use Disorder), that has no easy way of escape.
Incoherence to the world around them, wobbling rather than walking, laying on the sidewalk in all kinds of obviously uncomfortable positions, uncontrollable drooling,… These are some of the outward behaviors that lead the stigma focused onlooker to refer to these men and women as "zombies." Without getting out of the car to actually meet one of these people, the idea of them being "zombies" will only continue.
By taking the time to step out of your car and comfort zone and talk to one of these people, you will discover that the person of your displeasure is actually a real person who had a real childhood and who lives in their adulthood with hopes, feelings, and dreams for the future.
Rather than explain this point further, allow me to reintroduce you to "Melanie." In this blog written on July 27, 2018, you will see misconstrued behaviors of a 'zombie.' Look closer. Read about her embarrassment in front of 'Dad,' her desire to dress beautifully, her love of McDonald's and chocolate milkshakes, and having her hair brushed while watching Saturday morning cartoons.
"Melanie" represents hundreds of other people on the streets of Kensington who are not nor have ever been nor will ever be 'zombies.'
"Melanie" represents hundreds of other people on the streets of Kensington who are inspirational human beings made in the image of God and who are worthy of dignity, honor, respect, and love.
P.S.: With the judicial system and the Medicaid level medical system having failed her miserably, Melanie remains on the streets 2.5 years after I wrote the blog titled: "Before The demon Came Calling….