what it is like at a soup kitchen
I arrived at 6am. There were about 30 people there.I made the mistake of thinking Compass does gold cards on fri. They do on mon and wens. so I thought it was fri also. I is on thursday instead.Well I was going to write about the Beacon anyway and it is next door. So today will be beacon day. Since I got my food stamps I only come on fridays to get water for my camp.It is handy as a source of water and the food is so good I go ahead and eat and check my voice mail.It helps stretch my food stamps.
They pass a list down the line at about 7am where we are standing on the sidewalk and open the gate so we can come into the courtyard.Then at 8:30 a person comes out with the list and calls out your name and lines us up.It would help if they also called out the number you signed so you could keep up with where in the flow you are. There are a lot of people crowding around in a small space and I always have the fear that he will call my name and I will miss it with every thing going on with people talking and all.I signed the list at 58. At 9:00am we go through two glass doors to a desk that has 5 computers maned with volunteers. If you are new you don't have to stand in line they take you on in and register you. They ask if you need a shower, wash clothes, and eat. They enter this info on the computer then write your first name and a queue number. We go in to the main cafeteria where there are round tables about big enough for 6 or so people with stack able chairs we get in the corner. When you get up out of your chair you leave something in it to show it is taken. there are also a few electrical outlets where you can charge your cell phone. at the desk where the sign in computers are , on one side they have 3 phones and you can ask to make a long distance call and they have a calling card and will help you do it. You have 5 min.s to talk. Coffee, tea and Ice water are available. There are two big tiled bathrooms. One has two urinals and two commodes and 3 mirrored sinks .The other has 3 mirrored sinks and 3 commodes. They are just like in a restaurant. There are small rooms and a partitioned off place for talking to lawyers, health providers, and councilors. They post a number on the wall starting at 11:30 at 50 and below, then 100 and below and so forth til about 700 by 1-2:00pm. The provide showers ans clothes washing for 120 people. The access buss stops there about 8:30. I ended up number 62.I was checked in by a police officer who volunteered to help while he was there.. There are aways two or three on site to protect us. There is all so video camers taping what goes on.
I shaved and filled my water containers and carried them in an army duffle bag on my back. I walked back to camp and rested. as I sat in my chair I could see the green lizard climbing along the vine hwy. He would stop and nod his head and blow a red ballon out his throat. Like I thought I am surrounded by lush green.I can hear diff birds singing around me.I also can hear a train blowing his horn. There is a train on my left and a train on my right. when they both are in the area at the same time when one blows the other answers.One of the rats just ran from behind me about 5 feet away into the vines. He stoped in the vines and watched me for a few minutes.It's a nice cool spring
It's a cool sunny spring day. they don't start feeding until 11:30 so I have about 30 minutes to relax.My tomato plant is about 3 feet tall now. When I clean out my cup where I make oat meal I dump the rinse water at it's base.
I'm back at the beacon. They have spaghetti or Salisbury steak. a chose of 2 of potato's,greens,or corn. green salad and three dressings or fruit salad. there is a stand just off where a volunteer has seasons and sugar.after me eat we relax for a while. at about 2 pm they move the tables out of the way and everybody leaves except the volunteers or I call them Beaconites.I have volunteered twice. Once to wash the dishes and clean up the kitchen so I could have that training to look for a job dishwasher / kitchen helper. they then spend the next 3 hours or so cleaning up and getting ready for the next day. Then they do it again. Friday - monday.
I'll never forget the first time there. after experiencing the other places ,I was treated for the first time like a person and could feel a christian atmosphere.
I will always pray for the Beacon and the Beaconites there.
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