Tuesday, July 13, 2010

i'm leaving on a grey hound louisiana bound

happy tuesday evening duckies,

as many of you know i work at a homeless and near homeless outreach center in the front range of the rockies. today our center's lobby was a colorful canvas comprised of families clutching their leases visiting us for rental assistance, formerly middle class workers accessing our food bank in a desperate move to limit costs so they don't lose their homes, teen lovers, and our chronic homeless clients who are as much a part of our neighborhood's fabric as the outline of the rocky mountains west of our small community.

it was a normal bustling day. perhaps the most pervasive sound though was the buzz from our homeless clients about the mass influx of jobs being advertised in louisiana and texas. usually our chronically homeless clients have a defeated look in their eyes. even though they are remarkably resilient, you can look at their faces and see a road map of their struggles with finances, street life, mental illnesses and very often substance abuse. today every man i spoke with who grasped the green jobs to help clean up the oil spill flyer was lit up. all of a sudden there are thousands of jobs available along the gulf. many of these men have never left colorado and have spent the vast majority of their adult life in one city and now they are getting ready to pick up and move

many of the men had secured funding from churches to buy grey hound tickets down south. they are leaving with the packs on their backs and the hope that maybe with a job that is part of a movement all the pain and dramatic monotony of street life will be washed away. i am excited for them. i am happy that there are jobs and i left work today with the hope that these jobs will pan out and that these men who so desperately seek community and meaning will find some peace down south. i also left worried for their health. these jobs are being mass advertised in low-income communities around the country. poor and often immuno-compromised populations are swarming down to a highly toxic waste site.

so tonight, sending out a good thought for all the people who are packing up their lives and moving to the gulf. may their journeys be safe, their work be effective and well received, their bodies protected, and their spirits be lifted...

photocredit: {oilspillphotos, gulfspill, studiomunophotography, julieharrisphotography}

1 comment:

  1. really good points. i hope the same thing. thanks for your insightful words.


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