Last Friday I visited J-Man to see how he fared through the snow and ice earlier in the week. In fact, there was still a smattering of snow clearly visible about his campsite. When I inquired how he had managed through those tough few days, he simply remarked that he was cold.
I had urged him to consider spending the night in a shelter during those harsh evenings, but he wasn’t much interested. I declined repeating that conversation again for fear that it would sound more like “I told you so” rather than a reminder that there are alternatives to sleeping under the snow in sub-freezing temperatures. A nearly steady burn of propane sustained him through the worst of it on Tuesday and Wednesday and he had used all of it before another person helping support him delivered more earlier in the day.
Our conversation was short since it was a date-night for Sarah and I and I wanted to make sure I arrived home before the babysitter released us for our first date in several weeks. Before leaving J-Man, I left him with the (now clean) dirty laundry I had collected from him the previous Monday. Doing another man’s (extremely) dirty laundry wasn’t exactly high on my to-do list for the week — but I had been looking for a unique opportunity to serve J-Man besides the typical hot meal, propane and some canned goods.
Our mutual friend (whom I’ll have to give a nickname as this story carries on) commented that a lot of his supporters tend to show up on common days leaving him with shortages throughout the week. His suggestion was to try and collect contact information for all the individuals that support J-Man so we could better schedule our support to ensure someone was frequently checking in on him and not doubling-up throughout the week.
I personally don’t believe J-Man cares, but I left my name and phone number with him and instructed him to collect the same from others that drop by to assist so we could better serve him by coordinating our schedules.
Fast forward to today (Monday)…
As I was leaving J-Man this afternoon, I had the pleasure of meeting one of the individuals that had been supporting him in the last year. She said she had some news to deliver to J-Man, but didn’t want to do it by herself. She asked if I would accompany her while she spoke with him and knowing what she just told me, I agreed. It didn’t turn out anything like I thought it would.
To be continued… tomorrow?