Identify Society Homeless 366 11/13/23 Day 44, Monday, Springfield, A New Camping Companion

11/13/23 Day 44, Monday, Springfield, A New Camping Companion

6:00 a.m. I wake up and it’s super cold, I have to take my time breaking down camp. There’s frost on the poles of the tent from me breathing in the night. There’s Frost on the rain cover of the tent. It’s about 24°, and it got down to about 22° at night. I do some work breaking down the tent, and then I place my hands between my legs to warm them up, and start working again. Once my stuff’s packed up I head over and lock my stuff up at the gym. 

7:15 a.m. I began riding my bike over to breakfast at the Springfield rescue mission. I end up missing breakfast by 5 minutes. They only serve meals for a half hour at a time. I began to ride my bike over to dunkin’ donuts. I see a McDonald’s on the way so I stop there and get two sandwiches. There are homeless people in side, one man is passed out. One of my old coworkers, a good friend,  stops by to see me at McDonald’s. He’s lived in Springfield his whole life. We shoot the s*** for a while, and then he goes on his way. I decided to stop at the recovery center to charge my phones for a bit. It’s called Vallor Recovery Center on Worthington Street. I saw a murder of crows on my way so I took some pictures. The recovery center has a few rooms and a kitchen, and they have meetings there all day. The Staff is really helpful and nice. 

11:30 a.m. Rolls around and I get ready to head back out to get lunch. There’s a lunch at the self-congregational Church, the place I went the night before so I bike over there. When I go in to sit down a man says, “somebody’s sitting there.” I think to myself, “I’ve already eaten at this place.” I decide to eat at the Springfield rescue mission instead to check that out. I unlock my bike and I head over there and I get there about a half hour early. There’s a bunch of people waiting around outside and then they let us inside and they serve meatballs, pasta alfredo, and vegetables. At one point a man begins speaking and trying to get the people to join in to praise God. He said, “God is good! Everyone say God loves you!” A few people repeat what the man says. The guy in front of me is obviously annoyed by the aggressive God speech. The man continues speaking about God and encouraging the diners to participate. At the end of his speech the Man said God is Good, that’s why you’re eating the food you’re eating. This man disgusted me. The speech this man did and the things he said suggests that the poor and homeless people suffer because they aren’t down with God. I happen to know that the people are eating the food they’re eating because Springfield Rescue Mission brought in over 17 million in Grant and other monies last year. I wonder if anyone is skimming off of that nut. Don’t get me wrong I love the religious organizations for helping the people, it’s off-putting when they come in shoving God in your face, and making it seem like you’re the way you are because you’re a dirty little sinner. On the wall of the Springfield Rescue Mission it reads “For I am the Bread of Life, Who so ever comes to me will not go hungry,”  a quote from Jesus. Shortly after the man’s speech a woman begins yelling over and over, “They’re feeding you all like dogs!” Then she leaves. The people at my table were talking about a friend that hasn’t been around for a couple weeks. They think something happened to him. They said he was sleeping in an abandoned church. A worker at the meal comes by and they tell him that their friend is missing, in the hopes that he’ll look for him.

12:30 p.m. I leave the meal and decide to bike out to the library. Like an idiot I rode my bike across town to a small satellite library that doesn’t have any plugs to charge my stuff. It’s about an 11 minute track to the main library so I head over there. Springfield main library is really cool. They have sculptures of Dr. Suess and his characters, I take pictures and out front of the museum I take a picture of a Buddha statue. I will find out later that it was Dr. Suess’s step daughter who designed the sculptures of his characters. 

1:00 p.m. I go into the library and begin charging my things. I see there’s a few homeless people in the library and some are sitting at tables and some are sleeping. 

3:20 p.m. Once my stuff’s charged up I decide to go for a bike ride to check out a campsite I saw near an active and fit gym. I ride out and see some of the cool sites of Springfield. Like usual when I get to the spot I saw on maps that I liked there’s already tents there. The mind of the urban survivalist thinks alike. There’s a guy staring at me, so instead of being weird and walking away I approach him. He’s friendly and I tell him that I was just looking for a place to camp, I tell him I’m doing a documentary. He tells me his name is Wayne. We have some discussion and he says I’m welcome to come stay at his camp. I tell him I’ll stay there tomorrow night. He lets me know, no pictures! He tells me about how there was once a huge encampment here, but a girl overdosed and died and the cops took down all the tents. He tells me he can connect me to people with stories to tell. I am intrigued. It seems like a reasonable gamble to camp with this gentleman. 

4:50 p.m. There’s another place that I’ve been thinking about eating at 755 Worthington Street, a place called Clinical & Support Options CSO. It’s a soup kitchen and shelter. I bike over there and there’s a whole bunch of people waiting to eat. When we go in there’s a cop standing in the main hall. I begin to go through the wrong door and a worker directs me to the line. It the dinner has an institution feel, but it’s a good atmosphere. It seems to me that drug use is a major problem in Springfield. The food is good. I just eat and then I leave. 

6:00 p.m. I head over to the active and fit gym to get my gear like usual. But instead of biking to my little cut in the woods I investigate the back of the Gym building. It’s flat, dark, secluded, the houses nearby are fenced in and can’t see me. I decided to go full urban and set my tent up against the building. Once I’m in my tent I hunker down. I mess around on my phones for a bit, and soon fall asleep around 9:00 p.m. 

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