Monday, March 14, 2011

A Homeless Guy Named Ken

Occasionally over the last month or so I've left work and found a homeless man sleeping next to a sidewalk in the vacant lot directly behind my work. At times, I've walked past him and his maxed-out shopping cart as I've headed to my car.

This past Sunday I prepared and gave a lesson on service and wondered what my duty was to this man as a priesthood holder and a Christian. In the class discussion I asked for insights on what I could do for him. I decided that the next time I saw him, I would see if he would like something to eat. A member of the class suggested I ask if he needed to talk to a relative; I agreed to do that as well.

I didn't have to wait long to see what I could do for him. Tonight as I came out of work, the man was in his usual spot sleeping. I approached him and asked him if he was all right and if he needed anything.

He said he was just sleeping and that he could use a house. I told him that I couldn't do anything about the house at the moment, but I could get him something from Burger King. He said I could get him something if I wanted to. I also asked him if he'd like to call a relative; to which he said that he didn't have any. So I went to Burger King and picked up a Whopper value meal for him. When I returned, I gave him the meal and found out a little more about him. From what I could see, it looked like he was in his 50's and hadn't shaved or had a haircut in quite some time. I found out his name is Ken and he's from Los Angeles. He apparently came to Las Vegas because it was a little warmer.

Now that I've made the initial contact, I wonder what else I could do for him. He definitely could use a place to stay and a way to get back on his feet. I'm open to your input.

5 comments:

Jenn said...

What a great post, Peter. The first thought that pops in my mind is getting the church welfare services involved. Do you know anyone who could clean him up, give him a shave and haircut? Then get the welfare people involved in helping him get a job or any kind of (temporary) work. They might even know how to get a roof over his head, even if it is not a permanent one.

Karen Valinda said...

Did he mention any skills or past jobs, careers, interests? It would be a starting point for knowing what to offer that wouldn't be insulting or overwhelming. 'Down and out' doesn't always mean without a sense of personal pride and/or independence or perceived standards. Has he already exhausted the hospitality of local shelters or missions or is he unaware of what is available? Or unwilling to meet their requirements? Great stopping to see what you could do instead of reassuring yourself that you couldn't make a difference! Take care, our prayers are with you. xoxoxox

Valinda said...

And my wife is clueless, in the dark about the whole thing.

El Cid said...

Tis easier to ask forgiveness than permission.

Emily said...

I like Jenn's ideas. Keep us posted!

None dare call it conspiracy

Loading...

Monster Miata

Loading...

Flying in a squirrel suit

Loading...