Tuesday, January 19, 2010

On a Winter's Evening

This post a couple of days ago, took me back to the end of a what was a very cold December. It was just after Christmas, and it was bitter cold. We were stuffed to our gills with fragrant Thai curries and rice and as we stepped out of the restaurant, the cold wind snapped through the high-rise buildings and stung our faces while we braved ourselves to walk towards our car.

It was bitter cold and the fact that the blood circulation was all directed towards out stomachs made it much worse. As we walked across the store flanked paved courtyard, I noticed a conspicuous pile of clothes by one of the display windows.

This was odd.

It was upscale part of town and pile of clothes and trash were certainly never a common sight. As we walked closer, I realized that the pile was not just old clothes, but there was someone in those old clothes.

A man.

He lay huddled amidst layers and layers of old clothing. His bed was made of bits of cardboard and his sheets were old newspapers. He was half asleep, I think. It was dark and Chip was shivering and we walked past him. I called out to BigGeek, and pointed out the man to him. I am sure I wasn't the only one that saw him. It's a fairly busy neighborhood. Someone would have called the authorities, said BigGeek. He must have refused to go to a shelter.

I sighed and walked to the car and thought nothing more of it. Until the next day. I could not get the sight of the man out of my head. How could he survive such bitter cold all night? Guilt overcame me. I should have called. But who? I had no idea who to call, I would have had to look up. But I should have looked up the numbers and should have made that call. I hope that the man is alive and was not frozen to death.

In the VA suburbs of DC, you can call the Crisis Hotline if you see any homless people out in the cold-

  • Arlington County : 703-228-1300, 703-527-4077((after hours, weekends and holidays)
  • Fairfax County: 703-691-2131
  • Loudoun County: 571-258-3033

14 comments:

Doli said...

oh where do we get such numbers from? it would be helpful if i knew the site..

Anonymous said...

Within the DC metro are you can also call the hypothermia hotline at 1 (800) 535-7252.

http://dhs.dc.gov/dhs/cwp/view,a,3,q,492649,dhsNav,%7C30980%7C.asp

rayshma said...

i should check and keep the numbers for my area. i haven't come across anyone like this yet in the US... but it's better to be prepared...

Vinita said...

Aaj tumchya kade prachanda snow storm ahe na. Kuthe hee baher jaoo nakos. gharatach basun maja kar.

Doodh vagere ahe gharat ka ikdoon pathvu karan news var paahila ki sagla grocery stores madhla pan samplay.

Kaalji ghe.

Vinita

proswet654 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Shilpa said...

Where are you?

Hope all is well...

Vinita said...

Hi Dotmom.
How are you? Saglyannchya tabbyeti vagere theek ahet na? karan tujhya post madhe evdhi gap kadhich nhavti.

vinita

Itchingtowrite said...

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award for u

Itchingtowrite said...

did your tag

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