Williamsburg's Homeless & Indigent

P.O. Box 366, Lightfoot, VA 23090
Office: 757-561-3255
"Assisting people in re-gaining hope and a better way of life."

Friday, March 14, 2003

Considering homelessness is a heart-breaking but serious problem that grows daily in our country, I would like to break away for a few and add a little light humor to my experiences so far. Last week, I met up with a nice man while I was behind Food Lion (this was one of the sites I use to go to, but hadn't had much luck with anyone coming out of the woods.) This sweet middle-aged man gets out of a somewhat broken down car and starts rummaging through the dumpsters. Now I have always tried to treat others with respect and like to think they should keep their pride and dignity in tact, no matter what the situation is at hand. So, I didn't want to question him as if he was Homeless or even ask about the food he was pulling out of the trash and loading into his car. Coming up with no ideas of how to approach this man, I asked God for the wisdom of what to say. Just as I was about to introduce myself, out of the corner of my eye, I saw something move! At this point I didn't have to wonder what to say to start up a conversation, because I jump so fast, I practically knocked the guy over as I screamed "what was that?!" He hadn't notice anything and I slowly inched my way over to get a closer look and turned to him and asked "why is there a rooster in the dumpster pen?" He came over and neither of us thought it was real because it was standing so still and as we started to turn around, the rooster started after me! (OK so now I feel bad for all the poultry I have eaten in my life.) Needless to say, we now knew it was alive and after it had run off into the woods and we had a brief chuckle, we started talking. Thanks God, but next time, can I please stay away from embarrassing actions (such as me running around like a chicken with it's head cut off?)

His name is Eugene and he goes around to the dumpsters behind grocery stores and gets the boxes of food they throw away daily. He told me that when it is the expiration date, they have to throw them out or give them away so he goes around and collects them. And really there isn't anything wrong with the boxes he was pulling out. Most of it was breakfast bars and snack cakes, all individually wrapped. Then he takes it out and distributes it to less fortunate along with other food from the 'food pantries'. And just to prove you can't judge a book by it's cover, I found out later from people in the area that know him, he is very well off monetarily (although his heart is richer than the money he walks around with.) We traded phone numbers in hopes that we can pull forces together to fight for a better good.

Now, back to the rooster. There aren't any farms nearby, so obviously he was dropped off by somebody who didn't want him any longer. And even though I haven't had much luck in that area, I still go over there a couple times a week, just to feed that one faithful and appreciative patron that always comes for bread hand-outs. He no longer chases me and can't offer any conversation, but I still love to sit on my car and watch him run around chasing after the pieces of bread I throw out for him. I have always told people that Homelessness does not discriminate and I guess it just goes to show that it isn't just people in our society that are stricken with this 'disease'.

So remember when you think it couldn't happen to you, Homelessness doesn't discriminate against sex, age, race, religion and now species!


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