On Christmas Eve this post becomes poignant. This is Parice, one of Frederick's homeless population which numbers just under 300 people. While I do know parts of his story from his own words and other people I will choose not to share it here, as it may pass as judgement of another human being. What I do know is that tonight on Christmas Eve I will climb into a warm bed, my stomach will have food in it, and I will have spent time with and have thoughts of loved ones.
Parice will not. He fears others stealing what little he has, a guitar and an old military bag with his belongings so he eschews shelters. Tonight he will bed down somewhere away from others, alone, in chilly temperatures and rain, finding shelter under whatever cover is available.
Today, as almost every day he will be on Market Street, in the shelter of the old Asiana restaurant entrance, playing his guitar and hoping that a few people will put coins in his guitar bag, or as happened the other day someone gave him a gift card for a meal out on East Patrick past the fairgrounds - a long walk in any weather.
For today please spare a thought for Parice, and the many others like him, and maybe, just maybe look out for them, they are part of our community too. As we go through our old clothes, while Goodwill is a nice option, perhaps consider donating them (or food) to The Rescue Mission or joint the Student Homeless Initiative on Facebook
Opposite Asiana is Starbucks, I will say that he likes his coffee with a lot of sugar and just a little bit of cream...