Very late one Friday afternoon on a cold day while driving near the center of town, a friend who is accompanying me on errands comments on the twenty-five-plus people congregated with their bags near the edge of a parking lot.
“They are homeless,” I reply.
“But so many?” my companion asks in disbelief.
“Yes. They are probably waiting for a ride to a local shelter. Because of the profoundly Christian nature of this community, there are several shelters operating here. People in this area take serving the homeless quite seriously,” I explain.
“But where do they go during the day time?”
“Many of them spend their time among the various library branches. From what I have been able to discern, most of them are looking for ways to change their circumstances. They search for jobs, try to reconnect with family who might take them in or attempt to take care of more serious medical concerns via email and telephone.”
“That is an awful lot of people,” my companion comments.
“Yes it is.”