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.

Throughout this blog you are now seeing advertising. I need to provide this so as to keep going financially with this ministry. If you see something that is inappropriate to this site, please let me know - maybe get a screen shot of it for me. I do get credit for any "click" that you might make on any of the ads. If you're bored some night and want to help me raise some needed cash, visit my site and click away to your heart's content....

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Dear Suburban Housewife/Girlfriend,

Dear Suburban Housewife/Girlfriend,

You might want to have a chat with your man, especially if he drives a black Cadillac Escalade and tends to keep it in pristine condition.

He was on Kensington Avenue on Sunday.  The young lady he picked up and drove off with is a woman I've come to know over my five years of visiting those streets.  I must admit, this man who you believe is solely dedicated to you shows excellent taste in picking her up for his own orgasmic goals.  She's an exquisite, downright stunning woman when she's all dressed up and made up in preparation for 'doing a date.'  So stunning is she that in those moments when you and he may be intimate - if those moments exist these days  -, he might be closing his eyes imagining her and not looking at you.[1]

If there's the slightest comfort to be found for you in this it might be in knowing that this woman would rather not be performing requested sex acts on your man.  She would rather be with her desperately ill loved one with whom she has shared several actually intimate years and be with her own children and family who love her without any conditional attachments.

But she can't. 

She needs to financially support her active medicinal intake of 'heroin' by 'doing a date' because she knows that seeking treatment through the Medicaid system of health care provision is so sought with undignified lethargic and uncaring service that it is a far smoother process to jump into your family car and onto 'your' man - if that's his desire - than it is to go get the care she desires from medical Medicaid employed representatives who have dedicated their careers to the ideals of Hippocrates.

If we solve the Medicaid health care provision crisis, we just might save your relationship…



[1] As a footnote, I'd like you to know that even when she's sitting next to her street bound tent home, her natural beauty is absolutely apparent.

Sunday, June 13, 2021

A Tow Truck In The City of Brotherly Love

I was standing in McPherson Square handing out my typical bananas and water and song sheets. I also had some clothing and toiletries and snacks which had been donated recently.

As I was standing next to my table, a very petite well groomed nice and neat young lady walked up to my table. There was that look of fear in her eyes that told me she was new to those streets. I asked her name and how long she had been there in Kensington and she told me…

 "About 2 weeks."

I already knew the answer would be something like that.

She told me something that I've heard time and time again.

"I came here from my home in the Philadelphia suburbs and I got stuck."

It seems to me that any city referencing itself as the City of Brotherly Love should have a system in place where any human being who has been made in the image of God and who is worthy of the highest dignity and honor and respect and love should be able to walk up to any police officer on the street or walk into any emergency room or clinic or any other such place of authority and say…

"Hi. Help me. I am stuck and I need help now."

Any one of us who has a car knows that we can do that if our car breaks down and we need help from a tow truck. These human beings need a tow truck for their lives.

It is high time that the City of Brotherly Love takes the initiative to identify every single block that prevents these human beings from getting the care that they need promptly and with dignity and respect so that they do not have to live on the street if they would rather not do so.

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

You picked me up...

This past Sunday, June 6, 2021, I was standing at the corner of Kensington and Somerset handing out bananas, water and - most importantly - song sheets.  The conversations were wonderful as people stopped to chat.

I'm known as "Banana Man" in this area - a name given to me by a resident of the former 'Emerald City'[1] a few years ago when I started visiting that community with a case of bananas each time.  Rarely do I hear anyone call me Chris and so when it happened on this morning, my actual name caught my ear by surprise.

A young woman I wasn't yet recognizing and in a very conversational tone simply asked:

"Chris, do you still drive for RCA?"

"Yes, I do. How do you know?"

"You picked me up and took me there five months ago."

I did not need to ask her why she was standing in front of me now.  Her presence on that corner meant that she had drifted back into her substance use.

"You can go back today if you'd like."  I reminded her.

"I no longer have my private insurance so I can't." was her response.

I could not help but notice her black and blue eye, peeking out from behind the overgrown bangs of her strawberry blond hair as she spoke. 

"What happened to your eye?" I cautiously inquired.

She explained that she had been assaulted on the street by someone other than the young man standing right next to her this entire time we were speaking.  "He stopped them." She was quick to add.

I asked her for her name and where I had gone to get her.  She told me.  I picked her up at her home about an hour away from Kensington.  I recalled her name from that day I went to get her.

Having given out all but one of Steven's Bags, I told this young lady that I had something for her.  I reached into my car and pulled out the last bag.  As I gave it to her, I explained the story of Steven and how these bags came to be.  She and her male friend were very appreciative.  We said our goodbyes and off they went…


About five minutes before this happened, a much shorter version of the same story occurred.

"Chris, do you still drive for RCA?"

"Yes, I do. How do you know?"

"You picked me up and took me there."

"You can go back today if you'd like."  I reminded her.

"I am no longer on my parents'  insurance so I can't." was her response.


RCA is leading the way in modeling what detox/rehab health care should be in the 21st century.  They can do so because of the combination of high quality and visionary leadership and the funding made available through private insurance payments received for the services that they provide to people dealing with various versions of Substance Use Disorder.

Relapse is not a requirement on that long road to finally claiming victory over substance use but it does happen.  RCA did not fail these two women.  Something along their individual paths led them back to their substances.  In time, provided that overdose or the hazards of street-bound life don't claim them, they will navigate their way back to healing and health once again.

Let's look at that path to healing…

While under their parent's health insurance plans, upon reaching that moment of being 'ready' for detox, these two women would have made a phone call and had their insurance approved.  It was at that point when I would have received a notification to go to their address and bring them in for five-star high-quality treatment that begins before dope sickness can start to cause its problems.  And keep in mind, prior to meeting each one at their home addresses, I had never seen either one on the streets of Kensington or anywhere else.

Having aged out of their parents' insurance policies, these two young ladies are now reliant on the Medicaid health care system with all of its lethargic practices that lack dignity and respect.

Nearly 100% of the people on the streets of Kensington who are there due to active drug use within Substance Use Disorder are reliant on Medicaid funding to find their way back to healing.

I invite you to read this blog A Tale of Fraternal Twins And Simulated Hardwood Floors that provides a side by side comparison of private insurance vs. Medicaid.

The bottom line is this…

It's 'easier' for a street bound Medicaid-reliant patient with Substance Use Disorder to endure the hardships of life on the street than it is to seek the treatment through the only avenue that is CURRENTLY available to them.

Here's how 'Dakota' described this:

I asked her "Without meaning to seem like I'm pushing the idea on you, what keeps you from going to detox?"

She didn't need time to think about it… 

The long wait time, the rudeness of the staff, the need to get high before going in, the need to hide enough drug to inject during a quick trip to the bathroom while waiting to many hours for a bed, the strong possibility that at the end of those hours, being told that there are no beds available in the entire city and to come back the next day.

The final bottom line is this… (Because this blog is getting way tooooo long!)

Kensington Does Not Have an Opioid Crisis!


Saturday, June 5, 2021

Steven's Bags

For the past three months or so, my lifelong friends, Shannon and Anne have been organizing some
amazing care packages for me to distribute to the people on the streets of Kensington.  Once every two to four weeks, I've been given anywhere from 10 to 20 bags.  Each is hand decorated and stuffed to the gills with items that are relevant to the needs of the people and season of the year.

As you may know, the needs on the streets of Kensington are staggering.  Since the beginning of this incredible effort, now known as Steven's Bags, rather than hand these bags out to the first x number of people I see, I've discreetly distributed them to specific people on the streets.  I may or may not already know each person.

  • One might go to a man who has just been released from jail only a few hours earlier.  He has no place to go and is trying to get oriented to what's happening in his life. 
  • Another might go to a woman who is standing on a street corner looking to 'do a date' so as to raise funds to support her addiction that she would rather not have. 
  • Another might go to an individual whose worldly possessions have just been stolen while nodding out in drug consumption. 

In each of these examples, it's an incredible privilege to look at each person and tell them that they are unconditionally loved.  And that's the point of these bags.  By discreetly handing out one bag at a time, I'm given the privilege of connecting with an inspirational human being who is made in the image of God and who is worthy of dignity, honor, respect, and love.

A note from Shannon:

Steven’s Bags is a grassroots effort to provide a little love in the form of hand-decorated bags packed with food and comfort items for you.  Steven is autistic, does not communicate with speech and uses a wheelchair for mobility. Although originally Steven was only decorating the bags, he now shops for content and participates in the packing. Steven is blessed with a loving and supportive family who focus on his strengths and abilities and a team of support staff whose patience and creativity help him share our love with you.   Look for Steven's Bags on Facebook.

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Your Prayers Are Needed for "Your Helpful Neighbor"

For the past almost five years, I've been visiting Kensington, doing whatever I can and sharing with you the true stories of real people in ways that protect their anonymity.  I've loved every moment of the experience.  I've delivered countless cases of bananas, water, and clothes, along with reams of song sheets.  The latter is the most popular of all and that makes me happy. 

To date, I've provided Narcan to 10 people on the streets.  I've taken a few people to detox, hugged, laughed, and cried with people, spiritually adopted one stunningly brilliant daughter and conducted one funeral of an amazing Christian who was found by overdose before she found healing.

Two cars have served me well during this time.  The first was a Chevy Uplander that eventually met its demise due to an inoperable clogged cooling system.  The second, a Nissan Altima, has held up through an additional 60,000 miles from its previous use.  It is showing signs of nearing the end of its service life.  Its immediate ailments are a failed air conditioner system accompanied by some really inappropriate sounds that led my mechanic to advise me to use the car sparingly until I can get it in the shop tomorrow (Thursday 6/3) morning.  The bill may be pushing $1,000 for repairs.

In the past, I have sought prayer and financial support with the above-mentioned bananas, water, song sheets and other smaller items.  People have been very generous.  I'm now turning to you for the biggest prayer support/fundraiser I've ever done in regard to my efforts in Kensington.

It's time to find a new to me, AKA used vehicle for my efforts in Kensington and personal use. 

Your support could come in various forms such as:

First and foremost, Prayer for the guidance that leads to:

Locating a vehicle through a dealership or private owner who may be sensitive to my efforts and willing to give 'a great deal' or an outright donation of an appropriate vehicle for the cause.

Financial donations by way of any of the processes listed on my fundraising page for when I find the right vehicle (or repair the current one) for the cause.

Any input you care to share is very welcome...

Thank you for considering this possibility.

Prayerfully and Sincerely,


AKA: Banana Man

Contact Information:

Phone number provided by way of email