Being new to Portland makes me pay a little bit more attention to my surroundings. I people watch whenever Adam and I take a walk, it’s interesting to see what people are doing. About a week ago Adam and I went downtown to have lunch at Deschutes and walk around Portland. Once we got to the old part of China Town, you see a different side of the city. Businesses are closed, and there are a lot of homeless people of all ages. It wasn’t shocking as I lived in California and unfortunately there are a lot of homeless people in Los Angeles. It just makes me wonder what could have caused all these people to be our in the streets. “How can we help them?” I keep asking myself. I mentioned this to my coworker and she told me that Portland does have a lot of programs to help the homeless, but that sometimes people are not sure how they can apply for benefits or that sometimes people just don’t want to follow the rules at the places that are offering the help. (Apparently, some places have curfews) Either way, there are a lot of people that go every night without a roof over their heads and that is very sad.
In the area that we live in, I have not seen anyone suffering from this. However, everyday when I get off the freeway to get to work. I see a few people begging by the freeway off ramp. There is an elderly man who has a sign that says “Anything Helps” I saw him 2 or 3 times. That man has been in my thoughts for the past couple of weeks. I’m not sure what his story is or why he is homeless. I probably will never find out, but I do want to provide some help for him. Even if that help is small. I have been told that given money to the homeless is not okay. (Due to some people having drug/ alcohol addictions) But that doesn’t mean there aren’t other ways of helping. Inspired by a post on Pinterest & the sign that the man was holding, I decided to go out and purchased a few things at the store and create a small “Anything Helps Kit”. I purchased 2 pairs of socks, a tooth brush, tooth paste, deodorant, some snacks, tissues and a bottle of water. I put everything together in a bag with a small note.
I’m hoping that if I happen to see that man again in the next couple of days, I would provide this “Anything Helps Kit” to him. It would be a tiny way of helping someone in need. It really didn’t cost much to buy these items and they are nothing special, but I’m hoping that it can brighten someone’s day.