I come to the US regularly for solely professional reasons, but in my 4 years of working in Philadelphia, I’ve come to know and break bread with the city’s homeless population on an almost daily basis.
Philadelphia has a chronic homeless issue as you may know. Tiffany (pictured here) has been ever-present during my visits.
In my time, I have witnessed her sleep on cold stone steps in the snow, burn with a fever in the summer and see her first job offer in years recanted once the employer knew of her background. Never has she flinched from her faith during any one of these setbacks, that one day, things would work out for her. (Note: she has never asked me for money).
Her other half (Nicky) works the other half of the block between Chestnut and Samson. Jake, Pete and Brian also go hungry in the backstreets in between.
On my return this time, Tiff jumped to her feet as I approached and showed me the keys to her new apartment. She started her new job at Walmart last week.
Our smiles stretched for miles.
So here is yet another victory for the human spirit in the perpetual battle against the odds and it has to be said, a community that in general, is suffering from a terminal case of compassion fatigue.
I’m a very lucky man to have what I have and to know people like this to set the example for my conduct and behaviour in times of trial and opportunity alike.
‘Sail On, Silver Girl.’