It’s been two weeks since I have seen Anthony – that’s probably the longest I have gone this year without seeing him. He said he wanted to go to the Street Sense 10th Anniversary Gala event which was October 10th, but that he wasn’t one of the handful of vendors who were invited to be part of the event. I offered to pay the $150 for him to go and he seemed very happy.
I visited Anthony on October 9th – just a normal check-in. He was in good spirits. Several people stopped by to say hello to him. One of them, a young lady with a foreign accent that I couldn’t quite place Continue reading →
It’s been a while since I’ve updated you on Anthony and me. Anthony is doing great. He’s so happy to have his very own living space. Thank you to all of you who helped him in some way. From the financial donations to the care-packages to this amazing quilt that Joyce from Texas made especially for Anthony! It’s beautiful! He has it spread over his bed and uses it to cover up at night if he gets cool while watching tv.
Right now we are working on two new things for Anthony. First, we are looking for an adult literacy class for him to join. As a result of dropping out of Continue reading →
I met Anthony at his corner on Tuesday morning. His bright yellow Street Sense vest makes him easy to spot. His face was tired and almost melancholy. He spotted me and the edges of his mouth perked up as we shook hands.I asked him how he had been feeling and he said he felt OK. In spite of this, I felt he was a little down though. I probed a little deeper and he shrugged it off and changed the subject. “How is the writing coming? You meet your goals?” he asked.
We decided to go get some lunch first and then discuss our progress. I’d promised Anthony that I would take him to Ray’s Hell Burger over in Rosslyn – a place that I normally would say has the best burger I’ve ever had. But this time was a disappointment. It fell short – the quality seems to have slipped there. On top of that I was feeling guilty taking him to a burger place when I know that he needs to eat healthier given his recent visit to the hospital.
Anthony ordered the Soul Burger – a six ounce all beef patty topped with bacon, swiss Continue reading →
“Where I’m at now, I’m at peace with myself.” – Tommy Bennett, 1956-2012
I got a call from Anthony today – he was just checking on how I was doing on my to-do list. It made my day to see him taking his role seriously. We caught up on each others work but then he shared some sad news. Our friend Tommy Bennett passed away last month. I met Tommy through my Year of Giving project and he and Anthony were close as well.
To learn more about Tommy, you can visit the vendor profile that Mariko Hewer did for Street Sense about a month before his death. You can also check out Day 155 of my Year of Giving when I first met Tommy.
It saddens me a great deal to learn of his passing. Tommy was a great guy. He would be the first to tell you that he had some hiccups along the road, but as long as I knew him he was an exemplary individual – warm hearted and walking the straight and narrow.
The Street Sense newspaper will have a special section of their paper that comes out tomorrow that pays tribute to Tommy.
The Anthony & Me project is off to a good start. I checked in on Anthony on Thursday morning – he was bundled up at his corner selling the paper. He’s working on his to do list for our next check-in.
I bought his latest edition of Street Sense, pushed some singles into Anthony’s glove covered hand and tucked the paper into my book bag. It was only today that I cracked the paper open to read through it.
I thumbed it open to the first page where I saw an article by Editor-in-Chief Mary Otto. “DC Housing Authority to Freeze Waiting List” was printed at the top of the article. Fearing that this could hurt Anthony’s dream of housing, I read on.
The article talks about the 66,000 families in the DC area who are on the waiting list for affordable housing. Although that number sounds staggering for a city that only has about 260,000 Continue reading →