A good number of readers "tune in" here to debate and debunk much of what I write and believe.
That's welcomed, actually.
Part of the genius of the blogging is that it gets people "talking" who otherwise might not have the opportunity. At times it grows frustrating and tedious, but I continue to believe in the process.
With all of this in mind, I couldn't help myself yesterday. I caught myself wishing (more than once) that some of my fiercest antagonists were with me.
Our main Resource Center was completely overwhelmed with people seeking assistance. I expect the final tally for the day came close to 400 families, maybe more.
People were literally crammed into our interview room. They wound their way down every hallway and stood in every open space and room. They sat up and down our staircase and we made room for them upstairs in our already overcrowded office area.
The crowded conditions were compounded by the stifling heat. People were lined up outside in the terrible sun. Our volunteers were running about distributing ice water, chilled down in bottles for ease of consumption.
I roamed through the crowd making apologies for the overcrowded conditions, our inadequate seating and the long wait for attention.
People were so very gracious and kind, so grateful for everything we offered.
So patient and gracious to one another.
There was talk everywhere about work. . .
"Do you have something I can do?"
"I could help you with this crowd, I could make things go faster" an old man on crutches told me--he was asking for a job!
He must have been 80.
The entire experience was overwhelming, to say the least.
While all of this was going on, we had a tour underway--well actually, we had two tours underway. An early tour involved local folks with an interest in what we are doing. And then, a bit later in the day, we provided a tour to a group from the Mental Health Association and Bank of America from Tulsa, Oklahoma. This group is working very hard to develop permanent supportive housing for the homeless in Tulsa and had an interest in our efforts here.
What an "intersection" experience!
All kinds of people. Hundreds of poor, very poor people, mostly elderly; many families. All looking for food. All coming to our grossly overcrowded space.
No one can tell me that such "bread lines" ought still exist in the richest nation on the earth.
The day was beyond bitter sweet.
We need change.
We all need to work for it.
All who have voice need to speak up as never before.
We are failing one another badly in this country today.
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