Thursday, October 18, 2012

Hitting the streets with Hima

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 dreads.
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 years.

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 promised.

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.

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