Several months ago I met Curtis and his dog King. They were panhandling at a busy intersection. I stopped and visited with Curtis. Through him I learned about a homeless camp under a local bridge.
My friends and I started visiting the camp at least once a month. We delivered food, water, blankets, dog food, clothes, etc. We visited and tried to get to know the men and women living under the bridge.
Today I stopped by to drop off some dog food. I made my way down the overgrown path, and realized something seemed different. As I crested the concrete hill I realized the camp was gone. No tents, no mattresses, no make-shift shelters….they were gone.
Over the months I had learned a few names, Rick, Samuel and Chris but little else. Today i realized it is unlikely I will see any of them again. If there was a remote possibility that all of them found jobs, housing and security I would be excited. Sadly I know this isn’t likely. On the far side of the camp I noticed the tree was charred. As I walked closer I realized a large area was charred. As I tried to process everything I was seeing, or not seeing, I imagine the fire may be what brought the authorities to the camp and what eventually became the demise of the camp family.
I hope some day I will run into some of them. But if I don’t get the chance to see them again…I hope they are well.