Slept behind a church downtown last night. I never know where I’ll end up sleeping. Walked to HT for my usual routine of coffee and tried to make some kind of plan for the night. The weather is supposed to be right around 32 degrees tonight. Thirty-two degrees and below and the Veteran’s Restoration Quarters may declare the weather code “Purple” at which point they allow veteran and civilian homeless people to come inside, have dinner, and sleep on the floor in an area between the dining hall and the stage. The VRQ was once a motel on Tunnel Road that was purchased by Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry to help and house our veterans. There are some great people living and working there. All they ask for is respect. The veterans deserve respect and much more for putting their lives on the line for this country and our freedoms.
Walking around and wondering what I’m going to do to weather the cold tonight. I have no stand-by place that’s warm where I can go. I’ll call VRQ and see if it’s going to be code purple. I called around 3pm, and the person who answered the phone said they had not received any word yet about the code determination. More anxiety about the coming night. I’m already cold, and the sun hasn’t even set yet.
It’s about 5 now, and instead of calling, I emailed the VRQ hoping for two things: 1) that someone is in the office, 2) that they say code purple is on. I explained in the email that I had called earlier and was told a determination had not been made. I also explained that the temperatures were supposed to hover around 32 degrees around 5am and sincerely told him that I was not equipped to handle temps in the lower 30’s. I got a reply in 17 minutes. They told me to come on out, and that VRQ would have a bed for me. I’m so grateful that people care. I wish better for the ones that don’t. Whew! What a load off my mind. I would get something to eat, sleep, and shower. All three were overdue. It turns out that they did NOT call code purple. It turned out they had a bed for an overnighter.
One Week On the Streets: Read the Entire Series