Sunday, December 07, 2008

Saturday night at the bus station

Dave* was goin’ home. He’d landed on the streets in Orlando and I was putting him on a bus to Cleveland.

It’s 30 degrees and snowing there, but it’s home. And he hadn’t been home in 11 years.

I’d talked to his sister on the phone, and she was excited by the prospect of seeing him. And there’s a job waiting for him. He’s a chef, but couldn’t find work in Orlando.

Our Homeward Bound program paid for the ticket, so I had to meet him at the bus station and hand over the ticket. His family said they’d house him, and he had no outstanding warrants, so he qualified for our help.

At 9 p.m. on a Saturday, a December night warm enough for shorts, the Orlando bus station was pretty busy. The people were Spanish speakers, African-Americans, a few kids with backpacks -- and one homeless guy goin' home. The northbound bus was full.

I wished Dave good luck and watched him get on the bus for the 26-hour trip home.

One more person off the street.
* Not his real name.


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