Be Aware

Recently I was crossing the street near the Civic Center and a fourteen year old that I new offered to sell me some food that he stolen from a local store.  He chatted with me about how tough he had had it the past day or two.  As he walked away I thought of how difficult it really is for this young boy: no parents, no home, stealing and selling his body to survive–and I thought of hundreds of fourteen year olds I have known through the years who have done the same.
We are often so insulated from our neighbors that we fail to see the need around us. A recent article in the San Francisco Chronicle tells us that homelessness has increased, there are a majority of queer young adults the street because of being rejected by their families. We believe we have enough programs–we do not; we expect people to fit in the square peg of our expectations–they do not; we believe we have plenty of mental health care–we do not. 
For nearly nineteen years we have walked the streets providing food, harm reduction supplies,  socks, and referrals, and more importantly we have provided pastoral care–we have listened, prayed with, visited in the hospital, baptized, given the Eucharist to, listened to confessions of,  and buried thousands.  We have sought to be the presence of Jesus.  Through the support of hundreds of you we have  have cooked and taken thousands of meals out on the street, and we have had thousands of memorial services where families and friends have found comfort.  We are  often asked if we  ever feel like giving up, simply doing something else. We get discouraged, over whelmed, but the work  affirms for us that Jesus is the Christ of God, and that he goes before us into Galilee, and there we  will follow–for in Him is Hope and Life.  

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