March 9, 2016

Today was the last day to drive for the shelter. For this year anyway. The Interfaith Rotating Winter Shelter will be back next year and I’m sure I’ll be a driver again, but now that it’s March, the program is wrapping up.


This year, of course, it could be very useful to remain open for another few weeks, given the weather we’re predicted to get, notably the rain. But the infrastructure isn’t in place to do that, unfortunately, which means a lot of folks will be scrambling for covered places to sleep.

I just can’t imagine.

In the three years I’ve been a morning driver, I wouldn’t say I’ve gotten to know anybody really well, but I’ve gotten to know a lot of people a little. It’s given me the chance to talk with a lot of Davis’ homeless over the years. I’ve found it helpful in connecting with not only the people, but a little with their experience of being homeless. It’s not like I say, “Hey, man, what’s it like to live on the streets?” I don’t do that. But in the course of the drive from one church or another, to downtown, a lot comes up…during conversations I have–usually with whoever’s sitting in the front seat–or conversations they might have among themselves. I always make a point of wearing my hearings (my new name for my hearing aids) because I like to hear all the dialogue going on in the back seat. So many have some degree of mental illness, so the conversations can be interesting (and enlightening). It really runs the gamut. Some are really sweet, some surly, some totally checked out.. but by and large, good to talk to.


Here are a couple pictures I took a few weeks ago, when the shelter was out at the Unitarian. That meant a lovely drive along Russell at sunrise (see the sun?):



I remember getting very wet walking through the grass to get these pictures.