Now, exhaust odor mixes with the urine stench as the street below becomes alive with noisy traffic. Being in the Arcade and all, you are smack in the middle of what is known as the “Financial District” of downtown Providence. As you step out onto the sidewalk, you are facing the front of the luxurious Hampton Inn. The sidewalk is filled with busy people scurrying about, with briefcases or back packs — purposeful.
You are sore from sleeping on a hard floor; you are hungry and the weight of your belongings is already starting to drain you. You have no pep. You avert your eyes as you plod along because if you look you will see the smugness, the judgmental stares, or worse, they look right through you.
You might head to a spot that serves breakfast to the homeless or perhaps you know of a place where you can at least freshen up a bit. You usually really have nowhere to go. No matter how you spend your day, however, your goal is always survival: getting fed, avoiding extreme temperatures, protecting belongings and having a place to rest your head.
Now, envision a life without a single person that genuinely cares about you. You have peers, acquaintances, some you even call “friends.” Sadly, they are mostly survivors like you; living day to day, seeking their own creature comforts, almost dog eat dog. You do not have two nickels to rub together or a rock to stand on.
So, where will you sleep tonight? The urine soaked floor? A sidewalk, or in a patch of woods, standing up…”
Will you find shelter if it rains?
The Midnight Moment Outreach to the Downtrodden
1643 Warwick Avenue PMB 171
Warwick, RI 02889
“One measure of likeness to Christ is sensitivity to the suffering of others.”