Please forgive me for being less than delicate in this post, but there is just no other way to tell this one.
Last Monday as I pulled into my parking slot in the under-building parking garage at CityWalk@ Akard where CitySquare has its administrative offices, I noticed a man exiting the garage from the corner nearest my assigned parking spot.
Strange, I thought. What was he up to?
He was nicely dressed in black slacks and a pressed white shirt. He carried a package of some sort in this hands, possibly an attache or a portfolio. He avoided all eye contact as I pulled in. I noted that he left in a bit of a rush.
After parking my car I discovered why he had been in the parking garage and, more particularly, why he had been in such a hurry, as well as what he had been doing.
The evidence consisted of a pool of expanding liquid! In short, this respectable Downtown business man had relieved himself in our parking garage. To be really clear he urinated in the corner.
I feel compelled to report what I saw because my homeless brothers get tagged daily as the despicable people who urinate on the sidewalks and the storefront entrances of our downtown buildings. For the record I'm here to tell you it's not just the homeless people! It's some of the rest of us as well.
You figure out what that means inside your own worldview. I just needed to let you know that we're all more alike than we care to admit far too often.
One of the things I'm wondering now is whether or not our uninvited guest has made or could make a connection between his own "situation of necessity" and one of the most pressing, daily, fundamental challenges of residing on the streets of our city? Likely he got caught in a real pinch. My homeless friends spend a good bit of time every day searching for public restrooms or places of seclusion like our garage. I hope the realization will come to him, if it hasn't already.
What's really sad is that this gent rushed out, no doubt embarrassed, when he could have come inside and taken advantage of our facilities, along with the formerly homeless persons who call CityWalk "home."
I guess it didn't occur to him or, more likely, he doesn't know us.
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Rising from Ashes
Larry James' Urban Daily
A repository of ideas, resources, commentary and opinions concerning the issues facing low-income residents of the inner cities of the United States and how mainstream America largely forgets or, worse, ignores the day-to-day realities of urban life for the so-called "poor." Written and edited by the President & CEO of CitySquare. Please visit CitySquare.
Today and throughout 2013, we need your support to continue our life-changing work in inner-city Dallas. Every day hundreds of our wonderful neighbors arrive at our doors seeking our assistance, offering their help and prepared to pursue a better life. Frankly, the folks we "serve" make essential contributions to the scope, nature and soul of the work we attempt. At CitySquare we honor and recognize the amazing value and richness of our low-income neighbors. During 2012, almost 55,000 different people received the benefit of our wide-ranging services designed to assist in the process of building better lives. We need your help TODAY as we continue to respond to the needs of our community. Even more, we need you to become our PARTNER in the work of compassion and community renewal--work that continues day after day at CitySquare.