I really love helping out at the “sans logis” (literally: for those without lodging). Around the time I got there, in the matter of a week or so we doubled the amount of people coming through for “petit déjeuner”. Most people simply want cafe au lait (half coffee, half milk) with some bread and jam. The breakdown of the people that show up:
- 20-30 regulars
- 20 new faces
- 20 irregulars
People have started to express an interest in me as they see that: a) I’m sticking around for awhile b) I am always making an effort to smile c) happy to chat! On Wednesday, I asked a few of the regulars their names. Many introduced themselves to me and I to them. One of the regulars didn’t offer his name so I politely asked his. “Personne” (literally: “person”) he replied. “Person” I thought to myself, that’s weird to call yourself even as a joke. His friends quickly pointed out it wasn’t his actual name. Later, as I was on the train coming home I realized the second possible interpretation for the same word.. “nobody”. He introduced himself to me as “nobody”. My heart sank.
This center also takes in second hand clothing and has a morning each week where people can come in and choose some clothes. I was helping them sort through some of the clothing that was coming in. It was pretty horrible stuff: old bras, lots of pants for gigantic men, blazers and sports jackets. Really? Who’s going to want this stuff. So I’ll put it out there to you people:
How can we get these homeless people better clothes?
- Calling up corporate (Nike, Adidas, etc) for the different firms for donations? What would be in it for them?
- Getting hooked up with more Parisian churches for donations? City halls of small towns around Paris?
Plus a great picture of us hanging out Paris on the many “bank holidays”. Made EXTRA LARGE for your viewing pleasure: