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....

Monday, February 28, 2022

"It's the Disease Itself."

I am adding a new feature to some of my blogs.  If you would like to ANONYMOUSLY participate in a short questionnaire about this topic, after reading this blog, I invite you to click here and share your thoughts.


I pulled up to just a bit south of the intersection of 'This and That Streets.'  On this day, I had my usual water, bananas, and song sheets.  I also had apple sauce and fruit cocktails in single-serving containers thanks to "Loaves of Love."

As I glanced toward the intersection, I saw 'Susan' standing and waiting for an as of yet unknown guy to pick her up to 'do a date.'  I organized each of my items for her into an earth-friendly vanilla-scented plastic bag and walked over to her.  Two seconds earlier, a white minivan with Delaware tags pulled down 'That Street.'  Susan walked toward the passenger side.  As she did so, I called out to her from about 20 feet away and asked her if I could give her the bag.  With a smile of appreciation, she said she would be right back and to hold it for her if I was willing.  She hopped in that white minivan with Delaware tags and off they went.

True to her word, a few minutes later, she hopped out of that white minivan with Delaware tags at the corner of 'This and Another That Streets' one block south.  She slipped her new money into her pocket as she walked toward me.  I gave her the bag as the guy drove off in his white minivan with Delaware tags.

As I gave her the bag, with all the casualness of a morning conversation over coffee, 'Susan' started talking about the hazards of 'doing dates' and life on the streets in general.  The details she shared were frightening.  I asked her if the high that she gets from the drugs is so good that it makes the hazards somehow worth it.

"Absolutely Not!"  She declared. "I rarely get high anymore."  She added.

"So what keeps you doing this?"  I asked.

Her answer was amazingly simple.

"It's the disease itself."[1]

Now hold that thought for a bit…


The very next day, I parked right at the intersection of 'This and That Streets.'  'Susan' was standing there waiting for yet another as of yet unknown guy to pick her up to 'do a date.'  We greeted each other as I handed her another banana, water, and song sheet.  I thanked her for sharing her thoughts with me the day before.  I told her that I found her answer "It's the disease itself." to be so to the point and profound. 

I then asked her how she handles the risks to herself when dealing with potentially dangerous men while 'doing dates.'

Again, her answer caught my attention and it should you as well…

"My husband watches me as I get into each car.  He writes down the car description and license plate.  If I come up missing, he'll at least have that information to share with authorities."

Did you read that?  "My husband watches me as I get into each car…"


What other disease requires its sufferers to 'do dates' and, in the case of a married couple, engage in open adultery while the other spouse is forced to watch her leave and take notes regarding the car in which the act of adultery will take place?

'Susan' recognizes that she has a disease.[2] 

The disease is not making this requirement of its sufferers!

When will the powers that be within the realm of Medicaid-based health care recognize these people as having a disease and begin to treat them as patients with the dignity and respect that they deserve and do so in a prompt manner?

[1] "Substance Use Disorder" is the official title.

[2] Her husband also has the disease and lives on the street with her.

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Absolutely Unacceptable.

That which follows was originally presented as four separate blogs.  The original blogs were removed and are now presented here as one blog for clarity of events as shared with me by 'Dakota's' friends who were there and by 'Dakota' herself during these days.

Isn't there a better approach?

12/16/2021 11:22:00 AM

In mid-2016, I truly believe that God led me to the streets of Kensington.  Two unrelated storylines in my life got me there.

In this time I've come to know and love so many people who call the streets home.

  • Some have found healing and moved on in amazing, new, and revitalized lives.
  • Others have died by overdose or medical situations secondary to their drug use.
  • And then there is a third category of loved ones who rips my heart to shreds…

These are the men and women who are growing increasingly physically emaciated.  Whatever degree of healthy weight they may have had at one point has reduced itself to a living and breathing skeleton of their former self.  Some are riddled with abscesses while others are on the verge of losing one or more extremities.  Teeth are falling out or gone.  

And I'm supposed to just sit back and not say anything directly to them because people tell me that would be rude.

It's extremely painful to watch a loved one or multiple loved ones seemingly run and run hard toward their own casket.

Isn't there a better approach for loved ones than to just sit back and wait for that phone call informing me that the run is done?


Sprint to the Finish

December 17, 2021

Have you ever seen a long-distance runner who has a nice even pace?  They are not always at the front of the pack of runners.  Nor are they at the back.  They are just running along doing what a long-distance runner does - run and run and run - until they cross the finish line.

And then there are the runners doing exactly that until they find within themselves a burst of determination despite utter exhaustion to not just finish the race but win the race. 

Their run becomes a sprint to the finish line.  They push themselves beyond their exhaustion point and keep pushing until they pass the current leader of the pack, cross that line and win the race.

One of my dear and treasured friends is in sprint mode right now. 

Her sprint is not one of a runner's race.  It is her personal sprint fueled by determination to keep her active addiction alive.  I'm in the bleachers of her life and can't reach her to stop her or slow her down.

The fuel for her run has been one part food and six parts prostitution.  Each and every day, seven days per week, 365 days per year, this fuel has kept her going barely nutritionally and fully financially.  The never-ending consistent pattern of a runner for my friend is Make money... Get high...  Make Money... Get high... Eat… Make money... Get high...  Make Money... Get high…

With a lack of meals and an abundance of drugs, emaciation moves in and 'regulars'[1] move out.  Streetwalking to be picked up by some previously unknown to her guy upon which to provide a sexual 'service' to fund her medicinal needs becomes a central part of the sprint in the final stage of her race.

Tunnel vision blocks out the love of family and friends who beg her to stop or at least slow the pace of the race.  There seems to be nothing we can do or say that she can see or hear.

Unlike the Olympic runner's race where the finish line is a laser-measured point of claiming joy-filled victory, the finish for my loved one will be that final unwitnessed and therefore unsaved by Narcan overdose, her murder on a 'date' gone bad, that stray bullet or that severe injury or infection brought on by the hazards of her run.

Unlike the runner's finish line visible at a specific point on the track, my loved one's finish could come at any moment.  She won't know it until she gets there and in reality, not even then for death will have closed her eyes to it before her realization knows it.  She'll cross the line and her sprint to her own casket will be complete.

I'm in the bleachers of her life deeply desiring to cheer her on to a life filled with all of the goodness that I know lays within her.  At one point in her race, before she started the sprint to her finish, she did hear and appreciate my cheers for her.  Her tunnel vision and laser focus on feeding her addiction now block me out regardless of how loud I cheer for her goodness or scream in my fear for her finish.

For as much as I want her to do so, with little belief that she will soon quit her sprint, surrender herself to healing and claim her health-filled victory, I can only hope that she trips in her sprint, lands alive on her face, and needs medical intervention to tend to her minor wounds.  At that moment, I hope and pray that medical professionals who are poised right next to the track upon which she now sprints and who have dedicated their careers to the ideals of Hippocrates will come alongside her, compassionately connect with her, and guide her into the healing that she deserves and deep down inside truly desires.

[1] Men who call her consistently to 'serve' them.


'Dakota' was taken by ambulance to a local hospital.

Monday, January 3, 2022

Just a few hours ago, 'Dakota' was taken by ambulance to a local [1] hospital.  She was bundled in a blanket, lifted to a 'stair chair', and carried to an awaiting ambulance stretcher by an ambulance crew due to weakness brought on by her serious medical condition.

Please understand that 'Dakota' is a treasure to know.  She's devoted to her friends and a stunning, intelligent, and naturally gifted professional counselor even though she does not (yet) carry the scholastic credentials that make her skills official and employable.

Would it not have been better for the healthcare system to provide prompt, dignity, and respect-filled medical care to 'Dakota' when she wanted it months and years ago? 

Why must a patient with Substance Use Disorder who is reliant on Medicaid lay in something resembling their death bed before they start receiving legitimate and meaningful health care?

On Wednesday, May 26, 2021, 'Dakota' helped me finalize the writing of this blog about herself and the situation she was unwittingly in.:

"What keeps you from going to detox?"

Let's expand the definition of 'Harm Reduction' to include and resolve these issues.

[1] Local to the residence of a friend who was doing everything possible to keep her alive….

[2] independent of intellectual understanding by the same patient that this is not good


“We Need Your Bed for ‘Real Patients.’”

January 15, 2022

Was it too much to have the following hope as I wrote (above in this blog) on December 17, 2021?

For as much as I want her to do so, with little belief that she will soon quit her sprint, surrender herself to healing and claim her health-filled victory, I can only hope that she trips in her sprint, lands alive on her face, and needs a brief medical intervention to tend to her minor wounds. 

At that moment, I hope and pray that medical professionals who are poised right next to the track upon which she now sprints and who have dedicated their careers to the ideals of Hippocrates will come alongside her, compassionately connect with her, and guide her into the healing that she deserves and deep down inside truly desires.


When I learned that 'Dakota' had tripped in her sprint[1] and that she had surrendered to the care she desperately needed, I was relieved in knowing that this moment of healing and the first step toward her new life was at hand.

Two hours after she was admitted to the emergency room, with their Hippocratic Oath long since forgotten and compassion for her as a patient disconnected, my dear friend was discharged with little care given to her 'trip wound.' 

Their explanation to her for her unwanted discharge:

"We need your bed for 'real patients.'"

She was dead by the end of the week.


She surrendered herself to healing.

She started to claim her health-filled victory.

She was too weak to walk and so was carried off the sprinter's track by an ambulance crew who she said was kind and caring and into the presence of medical professionals who had forgotten their Hippocratic Oath and failed to compassionately connect

In our last ever phone conversation, with a weakened voice 'Dakota' told me hours later that she was truly scared by what was happening and that it took a great deal for her to agree to have help called for her. 

She wanted and submitted to help and help failed her.

Help in the form of hospital emergency room staff failed her and so, from her perspective,

Why bother trying again?

'Dakota's' sprint to and crossing of her finish line came, not when she gave up on herself.  It came when the medical community gave up on her.  

Her race is now complete not because she wanted it to be complete but because emergency room staff brought the finish line to her and placed it within easy and unintended reach.

The body of this hospital's 'real patient' contained the spirit of a living and breathing inspirational human being.  She was made in the image of God.  She was worthy of dignity, honor, respect, and love. 

She was my friend and I miss her.

She is now lying in a morgue awaiting retrieval by her family.


Update: As of January 22, ‘Dakota’s’ ashes are in an urn at her mother’s house…

[1] Metaphorically Speaking

Thursday, February 10, 2022

Don't just give away stuff! Connect, Connect, Connect!

I'd like to share with you this video that I recently created.  In it, I share some of the specifics of what I'm doing (with a wonderful growing team) in Kensington.

There's a message in this for all outreach workers to those streets.

To learn more about this all-important approach to outreach, I invite you to watch this Ted-Talk.

Saturday, February 5, 2022

Four weeks ago this morning...

Four weeks ago this morning, I woke to a text that simply said,

Jump ahead three weeks (One week ago)…

For those past 21 days, every aspect of my life had been written on lined paper - and still is.  If you look really closely at the lines, you would see that those lines are the very fine microscopic print of phrases such as “She’s dead.”  “She didn’t survive.” and similar such wordings as I try to digest the non-digestible.

This past weekend, a phrase started visiting me, not by my own thought process but as if from a visitor to my soul. 

I leave this with you to interpret its origin to me and its meaning for you:

“If you wake up tomorrow morning in the spirit world and discover that you had overdosed during the night, would you have done something differently this evening? 

This evening will be here before the end of the day.

Please plan accordingly.”