Yesterday Hima and i hit the streets.. now i must admit i was really surprised when she hit me up on facebook saying she wanted to come..and i am honored too! Hima is this angel of a young lady, really quiet, really
smart and super sweet.
I hit the streets with Hima and Khaaliq Thomas who has been
documenting the project. I know Hima from her best friend Allison (or 19) who
donates items to the project and has hit the streets a few times. The first
time was a Christmas eve a few years back where she ended up playing football
with a few guys tossing a wrapped up blanket!
It was a brisk sunny Saturday and i had a few places in
mind where I thought I might know a place to find a few homeless..so we headed
to Michigan Avenue.
After looking in the area I suspected we found a few tents
set up and pulled up. We got out and found three people.
Mr. Darnerl was 50 and underhoused, He was from Detroit and was happy to
take a camera. He even told us we did not have to give him money all we had to
do was come back and talk. He didn’t need a backpack, he told us to give it to
someone who needed it.
People we would run into on the streets we would give them
$10 to work on this project with us. Figuring it was collaboration and they
deserved to have their time compensated for being an artist.
With Mr Darnerl was Tyrone he was 53 and had long dark grey
I had run into him before with his shopping cart. He was
born in Detroit
at the Herman Keefe hospital. He has been on the streets for about 6 or 7
Tyrone got mad at Darnerl for telling us to not give him
money, he wanted the money for sure and they quibbled about it a bit. Darnerl
has a very big heart and you can tell he wears it on his sleeve.
I gave him a camera for his lady friend Miss Vicky and made
him promise he would give her the money too! He put his hand on his chest and
We had picked up a box of tangerines at Eastern Market and
shared them with Vicky who showed up as we were getting ready to leave. Hima
also gave her some cat food I had in the car as Miss Vicky has a white kitty
whose name is ‘kitty’
Miss Jerry has long dreads and does hair. She grew hers out
in 2007. While talking Tyrone interjects he wants to know how much the earth
weighs. By this time they have figured out Hima is pretty smart and that is
working to become a doctor!
We got to talking about how they fix things around camp as
we could see their tent was pinned up. This is extreme camping way beyond
Burning Man style…not sure most burners could handle this.. not sure I could.
Tyrone tells us with pride in his voice that he looks out
for Miss Vicky. Hima let them know they can go to Henry Ford with any needs
they may have as the hospital will not refuse them care.
Next we went to Spirit Hope Church to meet with Miss Jerry
drop some extra supplies for the closet she runs to clothe people at the soup
kitchen each Saturday.
Not sure how it happened but Miss Jerry and I got into a
talk about forgiveness and she gave me a great lesson in the importance of
doing so, which fits directly into personal work I had been doing. When we left
I got a big hug from her and felt I had just been washed over with the best
oration and lesson from God.
Later on the streets by 75 and Mack we ran into Collin who
was in a wheelchair, he is 38 and from Detroit.
He has been on the streets since 2007 and lives in a tall building at the
Brewster Projects. He served in Afghanistan
( Kandahar) He was shot in Kabul, he is racist and does not trust
Muslims. Both he and his brother are homeless. He is hoping on a settlement
from the VA. He claims he doesn’t do shoot up or do other drugs but he does
like pop! We gave him a camera and a backpack.
Driving around Hima had an idea and I asked her to capture
it in notes. For Easter 2013 why not get cellophane bags put a little holiday
grass in them and fill them with fruit and candy to give out on the streets. I
like that idea!!
I was so happy to have Hima along for the day. She is a treat to talk to.
Khaaliq is so quiet that you hardly know he is there..and I mean that in a
really good way. He never gets in the face of anyone with his camera, he is
very respectful and I appreciate that very much.