We had the idea after the Chicago marathon, to pick up all the coats and sweatshirts that the runners had discarded. It was raining so they were soaked and we took them home to was them, dry them and then gave them out to the homeless throughout the city. They were so grateful to get a coat or sweatshirt of such high quality, since most of this stuff was on brand athletic gear:).
I met a homeless man in a wheel chair named Punchy. He had been through so much in his life it would be a really long story to write to you. His father had left when he was a boy, he had suffered abuse, then been in an accident and now his feet were so swollen he suffered extreme pain and couldn’t walk. He also had very serious heart problems. I took him to lunch and shared the Gospel with him and got to know him, it was a beautiful time. He told me that sometimes at night he was so afraid to go to sleep because he was afraid he might not wake up. I shared with him about eternal life and the hope of knowing the Father.
Another guys I met just asked if I could please put some money on his metro card so he could get around to look for work. He was so grateful for someone to treat him like a person. Another young guy I met named Tray, had a seizure while I was talking to him. He had to sit down and breathe. He told me that 5 years ago he had a great life and job. One day he was waiting for the metro when he lost his balance and fell on the tracks. The train hit him and he suffered broken ribs, a broken skull (he showed me his scars) and other injuries. He spent time in the hospital and when he couldn’t pay the hospital bills, he ended up on the street. He told me that now all he had to his name was the plastic bag in his hand. I don’t usually give money to the homeless a meet because I can’t really afford to, and often they would use it one alcohol or drugs. I usually give out lunch bag or clothes. But I decided to give this guy 30$ along with some stuff. I had the contact to a shelter that said they could give him a bed.
My brother met a man name Anthony, who had just gotten out of prison after a 18 year sentence. He was given nothing, just set free. He was trying to take a bus but the driver wouldn’t let him. HE got into a scuffle, got arrested and sent to Cook County Jail for the night until the judge threw out his case the next day. We took him to lunch at subway and as he made up his food his eyes lit up just looking at all the options. He told us how this was a whole new world for him compared to what it was 18 years ago. He couldn’t find a pay phone and so much was different. We got him a room and the fair he needed to make it family. I don’t know if I haver ever seen someone so grateful.