A Special Spaghetti Supper

Perhaps the most beautiful thing about Friday night was all of the different people who joined us. Not only did we get to spend time with homeless men and women but some little ones joined us, too.

A friend and her husband brought their two young daughters to help pass out the suppers. Each of them, delighted, grabbed sacks of spaghetti -- and salad and bread and a cookie -- and walked fearlessly and joyfully up to the men and women that passed us by.

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Saying Goodbye

Today, I told the streets goodbye. Or, farewell. See you later.

I got to sit with my friend named Greene on the corner. He entertained me with his vibrant mind, informing me that, in fifteen or twenty years, people would be traveling to Mars to live. “It’ll be a suicide mission,” he said with his chuckle and lisp.

When I walked up, I just plopped down in the middle of them. It is no longer “by invitation only” that I sit, but I am part of them and they, me. I am a part of the community. Granted, I am not homeless. I do not live on the streets, but, as my friend Rowdy told me several months ago, “You are one of us.”

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Man Against All Odds

Slender, wide-grinned, big-hearted Gregory Crawford stands a little above the crowd. When he finished up trade school and moved to Dallas in the '80s, he entered a world that, unbeknownst to him, would soon swallow him up and threaten his very life.

In those days, South Dallas was known as “The War Zone,” an area of the city completely above law and order. An article from 1988 puts the invasion of crack/cocaine in South Dallas this way: “It's easy to conclude that this is not merely a poor neighborhood invaded by drugs. It is occupied territory, a neighborhood claimed by crack. Drugs aren't a subculture here. They are the culture.”

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Can't Write Them Off

Homelessness and its struggles are really just a metaphor for all of life. Stripped of the clothes and the cars and the houses, a person is left vulnerable and transparent.

But inside mansions or outside under overpasses, people are people. Addictions plague the wealthy and the poor. The capacity for violence and self-destruction exists equally in every human heart.

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Follow Up: Eva's Meet the Need

Back in January, many people came together to donate furniture and/or funds to help Eva fill her apartment. (If you'll remember, she went from sleeping on a cot at the shelter to sleeping on the floor of her apartment because she had no furniture.)

Thanks to everyone who donated furniture, kitchen items, etc., and to those of you who donated funds.

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The Race Reality

It was a hot day — so blistering we did something we've only ever done this once: move our Thursday afternoon time under the shaded foyer of CitySquare's building in our hood. Normally, we brave the elements, heat or cold, with our friends who are homeless.

It is not for this reason, however, that I remember this day. It stands out because two homeless men said the exact same thing to me in a short two-hour span. What they said is the sort of thing you know people think but that you never expect to actually hear.

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Feet Washing in Photos

Let's get real: I find the idea of washing someone else's feet quite awkward. I occasionally broke into a cold sweat earlier this week just thinking about today.

And on top of it all, because of the cloudy, misty day, we weren't sure if anyone would actually show up to get their feet washed. But Jonathan faithfully set up the chairs, and we got the stations ready ...

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Love Is Free

Two weeks ago, Elissa and I were at a recovery center checking someone into rehab when I saw a friend from the streets out of the corner of my eye. I hadn’t seen her in months. I had to do a double take — she looked different. She wasn't just physically cleaned up; her entire demeanor had changed.

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