Saturday, December 25, 2010
Shawn and John
I met these two fellows when they saw me giving socks out to some of the other folks on the street. The taller one, John, stood quietly waiting while everyone was getting their things. At first, I though perhaps he was a passer by who wanted to talk to me about making a contribution (this happens on occasion). I might have blinked for a second when he quietly asked if he could have a pair of socks. "Sure! One pair or two?" I asked. A warm grin broke across his face and, as I handed over two pair of socks, he called to his friend standing off in the distance, "Hey Shawn! Get over here! I told you it's okay! See? We can have some, too! She's got socks!"
Shawn paused then, seeming to make a decision in his own mind, came over and thanked me for the socks I placed in his outstretched hand. As usual, I asked them for their stories. They're both former employees in the food industry. John was a Hurricane Katrina victim who'd been relocated to Illinois for temporary housing and then abandoned when the housing funds ran out. Shawn moved here from Boston and lost his job when his company down-sized. Once his unemployment benefits ran out, he lost his apartment.