[NEWS] An outstretched hand to those suffering on our sidewalks | Project HOME

[NEWS] An outstretched hand to those suffering on our sidewalks

 

From the Philadelphia Inquirer

The homeless outreach teams arrived at Rittenhouse Square just before the morning rush hour. They had come to check in on familiar faces, park regulars who have refused to come inside for years - or even decades.

Like Aaron, a paranoid schizophrenic who will soon turn 50, and whose matted dreadlocks have formed into a solid, winding cable of hair. He wanted to be left the hell alone, he said.

But the team had come intent on engaging new faces, too.

Like the cursing man wearing a heavy coat, a stethoscope, and rubber gloves and carrying a bulky photo album. He was a doctor - no, an undercover agent, he said.

Some commuters tried to hide their stares Friday as outreach workers in orange T-shirts tried to coax his name out of him. Some didn't.

Get used to the orange-clad foot soldiers. You're bound to see them around town.