As I get to work each morning, I enter the Post-Dispatch and take the stairs on the south-side of the building. The stairwell includes large windows that look out towards the St. Patrick Center and Interco Plaza. The St. Patrick Center is a provider of services for the homeless and some of these homeless had taken to camping in this little plaza right outside the center.
One day last fall I stopped on the second floor window to peer out onto this sight and say a quick prayer for the people living on the plaza. As is typical of my prayers, I didn’t include any specifics, just that they would know God and see that He loves them.
Imagine my surprise when, the next morning I walked up the same steps to find that the little plaza was swept clean. It looked like no one had ever “lived” there.
“Whoa,” I thought, “…God, what did you do?”
A bit later it in the day I realized that it was all the talk on the local radio waves. Turns out, some rather insensitive park rangers had orders to move the residents out of the park and had simply thrown away all the belongings of these homeless individuals. The homeless folks were even there while the rangers tossed everything in the compacting trash truck. Well, needless to say, there was outrage across the board, including the Mayor’s office. I felt sure the outrage would turn into something positive for these people and felt confident that God was looking out for them.
From today’s Post:
ST. LOUIS — The two men once bounced from one downtown park to another, sleeping in tents or under cardboard in relative anonymity.Then last fall, Tremayne Gates and Clint Smith briefly became the center of a debate over how the city should treat its homeless and their possessions. …read the rest of the story -