Ah, the street people. If you have never worked in a big city, or if you have never been around real street folks, you don't know what you are missing. Some people are scared to death of those who walk up and down the corridors of the nation's cities. Why? Well, mostly because these folks look or act differently then you do. They don't look like Mr. Jones, your next door neighbour, they don't drive a big SUV, and they seldom attend soccer games, shop at the neighbourhood Safeway, and they might even smell a little bit funny.
Cut aways the ragged clothes, the unkempt hair, the unshaven faces, the vacant look on some their faces, and the hungry look in their eyes, and guess what you you will have? Correct. Look familiar? They should, because they now look just like Mr. and Mrs. Jones, your next door neighbours. Hey, they might even look like your doctor, your lawyer, sorry, Go Figure, or your former banker. Heck, they might even look like you. Maybe, just maybe, they are you a few years from now when you have lost your job, your car has been taken away, and the bank came and said you are 90 days behind and we want the keys to your house, now!
Of course, there are as many reasons for some to be on the street as there are people on the street. A few are there because they choose to be there, but many are there becasue some place along the line, life dealt them such a lousy hand that they simply had to fold, and walk away from the game that we call life. What exactly makes that leap into the abyss happen? I have always tried to figure that out. In all of my sociology courses and psychology courses that I took in college, I spent countess hours trying to understand where that " line" was that pushed some over the edge.
For someone interested in such behavior, Aurora Avenue in Seattle offered a plethora of opportunity to study, ponder, and interpret the data. One of the reasons that I chose the hotel filed was because I wanted my life to count for something. Life is empty if one is only interested in making money, getting that dream home, that special car, and wearing designer clothes. So my chosen field not only allowed me to make money, and be happy in my work, it also allowed me to reach out to those who had needs. It might as simple as listening to their story, offering my sympathy when a loved one had passed, or it might be as deep as taking a risk, and offering them an opportunity for employment and housing to get them off of the street. Such was the case with a couple named Steve and April.
Next-introducing Steve and April-a success story.