Sunday, December 19, 2010
I met Miller on Thanksgiving night. He was walking along State Street when I saw him and asked him if he's keeping warm. "Trying to," he said with a half smile. That's the usual answer. I asked him if he could use some fresh socks. There had been a terrible rainstorm the night before and, with temperatures in the high twenties, the chilling wet was beginning to freeze. "Please. Anything. Yes, please," came the reply.
As I began unpacking my bag to give him the socks and some food, Miller told me his story. He had come to Chicago from Alabama to take care of his sick mother over the summer. She passed away in September and, once she was gone, her apartment was no longer available for Miller to stay in. He'd been on the streets for two months when I met him. He really just wants to get back to Alabama but finding a ticket home isn't going to be easy. Right now, he walks during the night, tries to stay warm, tries to stay out of the way of the police, and he eats every two or three days.