At first appearances it looked like a trash can tightly wrapped in plastic, almost vacuum sealed. I looked closer. It was early in the morning around 4:30. Visibility was limited.
I soon realized there was a person underneath all that plastic wrap and the individual was on the northeast corner of Mission Street and Fair Oaks Avenue. And this person, who scurries away every time I approach, sleeps there every single night. I watched. It is their place of slumber.
Also, there is the professionally dressed lady that sits in front of the Bank of America nearly every morning on the corner of El Centro Street and Fair Oaks Avenue, basking in the sunlight. She said she’s waiting for a situation to be resolved that will make things right in her life again. She’s professionally coiffed with a suitcase, umbrella and neatly attired bags in tow. Her belongings, I imagine. They surround her.
The ubiquitous homeless person that many say do not exist in South Pasadena do live here and call it home night and day. Services here are formidable. Just go down to Holy Family Church, to name just one of the many places offering help. Check out the compassion in the form of hot meals, clothing and hot showers. Some places offer dental and medical services on some days. So much more here in So Pas.
One homeless man once said So Pas has the best homeless services in the region. “A one-stop shop,” he called it.
There are other folks helping where they can as well, such as the folks from LA on Cloud9, a nonprofit group, that hands out all kinds of supplies to the homeless by delivering them tent-to-tent or shopping cart-to-shopping cart on the street.
This past weekend, longtime So Pas resident Colleen Yee invited me to go downtown Los Angeles and hand-out supplies to the homeless with Cloud9. The Yees have lived in So Pas for the last 43 years. They love it here they say in large measure because of the spirit of community that exists.
This Cloud9 group of about three dozen people stuffed bags full of clothes, food, toiletries, and even dog food. More than 100 bags in all, they call some of the bags “blessing bags,” and they are not even a faith-based group. Just people who care.
Claudia Perez started Cloud9 in 2013 because the homeless are “human beings deserving of respect and dignity.” She is a tireless advocate for those in need, much like our own Marlene Moore, director of community services for Holy Family Church on Fremont Avenue. And so many others around town. They go by names such as Harry, Sally, Brian, Ron, Allie, Shannon, Jaimie, Brad, Paul, Linda, Carol, and Allie. So many it’s impossible to announce them all.
The simple fact is good people outweigh the bad. I’ve been thinking on this. I’m glad that’s true. Talk soon.