Today, when I left my house there was evidence that someone had been smoking on my stoop. There was loose tobacco (I think it was tobacco) all over the stairs and matches. I was instantly filled with dread that my homeless squatter has come back, especially since there was a purple candy wrapper of the same variety he’d used before to roll his cigarettes.
As I wrote on January 12, I had an issue with a homeless person last summer that resulted in my calling the police and my landlord putting in, temporarily, a front gate. Worst than all that was the fear that came every morning when I opened my door and every night when I came home as I was afraid of a confrontation.
I’d hate for the front gate to come back, but I also hate that as I write this and get ready to head out shortly for the evening that I’m going to be worried about meeting someone on my stoop when I come back tonight. The way the stairwell works, I can’t see him if he’s all the way at the top until I get more than half way up and I’m the only one who uses this stairwell, so there are no neighbors who would see him.
I’d like to think I’ll try to connect with this homeless person and see if he needs some food and not let my fear overtake me as I did last time, but then I worry that he’ll just keep coming back, or is mentally ill and unstable, and I’m also not eager for him to see me coming in and out of my front door.
Stay tuned. Maybe this was a one-time thing.
Tonight’s $10 goes to Union Rescue Mission, which opened its doors in Los Angeles in 1981 (lest any of us think homelessness is a new issue) and is dedicated to helping the more than 60,000 homeless men, women and children in Los Angeles.
March 7: Union Rescue Mission
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66 down, 299 to go!!