7:30 a.m. I wake up. It’s actually pretty nice out. The girl I talked to the day before while donating at the tent city next Wendy’s in Salem said that Lifebridge serves lunch at 2:00 p.m. I plan on getting out of the camp and getting to Lifebridge by 2:00.
8:30 a.m. I open the tent door, and there’s two slugs I think they’re mating. I got a picture and I posted it on Facebook. I really just spend the majority of the morning laying around. I do a quick video of someone of my thoughts for the day.
1:00 p.m. I head out to get lunch at Lifebidge. When I get there, I find out that lunch has already happened. I get the schedule for meal times. Life bridge serves three meals. Breakfast at 9:00, lunch at noon, and dinner at 5:30. I let them know that I’ll come back at 5:30 for a meal.
2:30 p.m. I decided to head over to Wendy’s and get some food there. There’s a man trying to order food and he doesn’t have enough money. He has a beautiful dog, a husky mix named Bear. I buy him some food. This gentleman presents as if he struggles with some substance use issues. My heart always sinks when I think that a person is caught out in the street due to addiction.
3:30 p.m. while I’m at Wendy’s I see the girl I saw yesterday and I meet some of her friends. I let them know that I would like to camp with them and they tell me that that’s fine. I meet a man who is intoxicated, I tell everyone I’m going to the library, and this man would like to accompany me. While we’re walking to the library an interaction ensues, I ended up posting on Facebook and here’s what I wrote:
A new friend I met wanted to walk to the library with me. While we were walking he said you are a really nice person. I said thank you. He said why are you that way? I said what do you mean homeless? He said no why are you nice? I said because I choose to be happy. He said what? I said I choose to be happy, instead of being miserable. He said you choose to be happy? I said yes. He said to me what you just said means so much to me. He said thank you so much. It was as if he had never thought that we can choose how we feel.
It became obvious to me that not everybody understands that although we feel emotions, we also have the power to choose how we feel if we are willing to put effort into it.
4:00 p.m. I hung out with the library for a while. I charge my phone’s up a little bit. And right before 5:00 I head back over to Lifebridge for dinner. It’s a packed house in the dining room. I grab a seat and it’s difficult to move around because there’s so many people in there. They have chicken nuggets, potato salad, and mixed vegetables for dinner. I’m grateful for the food and the food is good. I really like Lifebridge. I like the basic services they offer, like three meals a day. For me it is enough to get by. I do know that the shelter systems are overburdened. There needs to be more space for people to go in the cold.
5:45 p.m. a man who had just gotten the pacemaker seems to have a stroke. The staff at Life bridge was very attentive, and dealt with the situation beautifully. I hang around outside and watch the police, the ambulance, and the fire truck come. The man gets taken away on a stretcher. I talk with one of my new friends for a little bit, and then I go back to the library to charge my devices some more.
7:00 p.m. I pack up all my stuff and I leave the library. I ride my bike back out to my campsite to go to sleep for the night.