Daniel was one of the first homeless guys I met this summer. It was during staff training and we were at Salvation Army under the bridge. I actually was talking to another guy when Daniel asked if he knew me. I had not met him before so I said no, introduced myself and then introduced one of the other hosts who was beside me. It just so happened to be one of the boys and Daniel instantly made fun of me for introducing him and not letting “the man be a man and a southern gentlemen.” Well, this somehow led to Daniel making fun of me and me putting up with it….which really was my in with a lot of the homeless…apparently I’m really easy to make fun of 🙂
Daniel ended up being one of my favorites. He was always polite, always cared about how I was doing and how my groups were doing. He would gladly talk with any kid I sent his way as long as I spent a good chunk of time talking with him as well. It was kinda our deal, and it worked about wonderfully. Daniel and his buddies referred to each other as family and camped together in the woods behind a big science center. They invited me to come anytime, naturally I passes since navigating deep woods is not what I’m known for. This group welcomed me in as part of their family though and really did look out for me. They gave me the inside about topics and gave me the signal on when to avoid the “crazy uncle” of the family JR because he was drunk and a giant of a man who was quite intimidating when under the influence.
Today my awesome roommate and NYC host Jessica and I were eating lunch together in the student union. We both just kinda looked and each other and sighed. Eating our granola bars and peanut butter apples was not as satisfying as soup kitchen food with friends like Daniel. We aren’t sure what we are doing at school this year except that God is going to use it somehow. But today we both just kinda missed our summer homes and people like Daniel.