Traveling from Portland to Seattle by train over the holidays, I could see a lot of homeless shelters. They were encampments under the bridges and freeway overpasses, and right along the sidewalk near the train yards.
There are a lot of homeless people everywhere, and they live in all kinds of set ups. In the town where I live, the homeless tend to gather near the mission, or live near the river, or camp in a nearby wilderness park. Early every morning you can see them walking toward the mission, where there’s free breakfast.
But in Portland, the homeless people live in tents on the streets near the train tracks, in full view. It’s a new thing, in the fabric of our lives, and it’s going to continue. Not homelessness. But the tents put up, in full view. Like a camping trip, only without the option of going home after.
As our train rattled through Portland, as I made my way home for the holidays, I looked out the window and saw a tent that had a little stocking set outside the door.
It was raining again. It had been raining for two weeks straight. Merry Christmas.
Somehow, even in the situations that seem most bleak, where there is humanity... there is hope.
There is always hope, wherever we are.
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