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, shot the following video that I recorded for Street Sense.
We agreed that I would swing by and pick him up for the gala the following evening.
My father arrived at my apartment and put on his suit. I loaned him a tie and we gathered everything we needed to take to the event. Then I gave Anthony a quick call to let him know we were on our way and that we would be picking him up in 15 minutes.
I didn’t need to ask if I had woken him up – it was clear that I did. He told me that he changed his mind and didn’t want to go because the event would be full of people who were all dressed up and he had nothing to wear. Despite offering to buy him clothes, he remained steadfast in his decision.
It bothered me. Not because of the money, but because the event was for everything Anthony stands for. An example of someone who has pulled themself out of homelessness and is making positive changes to improve their life. It was about celebrating the successes of Street Sense – and Anthony is certainly one of them.
Anyway, I tried to give it to another vendor but couldn’t get hold of them so I shared that I had an extra ticket on social media and offered it to anyone who was currently furloughed by the government. It didn’t take long before I had a taker!
I’m meeting up with Anthony later today for lunch. I want to make sure he is in good shape to pay November’s rent and talk with him about what winter clothes he needs.