Saturday, October 8, 2011

Working hard or hardly working?

The park was closed this week for maintenance and winterization.  Some of the green hats and extra workers cleaned the service center, food service center, power washed the deck, hung up plastic sheeting along the huts, hung heaters, and did other general fix-it jobs, but I was fortunate enough not to do any of that.  We put up a table on the street and passed out lunch tickets.  That's all I did the majority of the week. I was bored out of my gourd. 

A few out of the ordinary events happened:
1. The park had shorten hours (8 am-1:30 pm) so I got to sleep in an extra hour and leave once we cleared the street.
2. I got Tuesday off!  I just lounged around for the day and it was glorious!
3. We had a staff retreat on Wednesday.  The full time staff at all L&F's programs (about 70) met at a retreat center, discussed a typical day at L&F, and shared the miracles that happened in our life so far.  It was lead by a cool nun (Sister Clare) and everyone had a great time!

But the story on my mind is Keith's.  He was released from jail shortly after I began here.  He is a mean-looking dude (covered in tattoos) but Donna (one of the nicest guests at the park) introduced me to him because he just had on jail shoes.  I exchanged his shoes and got to talking with him.  He was the kindest guy and I judged his appearance- something you just can't do at the park.  Yesterday, Keith gave me a silver chain anklet.  I put it on and his face lit up.  He then disappeared and three squad cars came to arrest him.  I don't know what he did or if I'll see him again.  It astounds me that a guy that nice (and he is nice to all green hats and people- not just me) can be in that big of trouble.

Working at L&F- seeing the police targeting the homeless and ticketing them with jay walking, littering, loitering, camping, and public exposure because they lock up the public bathrooms at night- has made me re-evaluate my feelings on the police.  L&F doesn't take any government funds (it is all supported by private donors), and doesn't like the government much. . . It's odd to look at the Capitol building and see all the injustice happening. 

To leave this on a happy note: MY PARENTS ARE COMING NEXT WEEK!!

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