Monday, March 24, 2014

Day 3 for Lauren

Hi all,

It's day three of the trip. We are nearing the end of the 48 hour homeless challenge with about 16 hours left! It's definitely been an experience of a lifetime and an experience that I'm not sure I want to repeat. I'm currently at the Martin Luther King Public Library, on a public computer. Yesterday, I walked all around D.C. with my partner and we saw the capital, the white house, and a lot of other important buildings. We went to church, the Reverend gave us $35 in grocery store gift cards as well as a bus pass to get home (to our fake home in New Jersey). My partner and I walked all day, stayed in the M Station for a bit at a time to warm up. We also found a homeless food shelter that was handing out food to the homeless, one of the homeless waved us over to get some food, we got in line and were called out for not actually being homeless. I started tearing up and wanted to leave but the man that waved us over told us they were also handing out sweatshirts, socks, sandwiches, a lot of other things, so we got a quick something and as we were leaving were flicked off and were sworn at and called names. That was definitely the worst part of the day. The night really wasn't that bad, we had five blankets for four people and had a guide with us who was currently homeless. She showed us where to dumpster dive to find cardboard to sleep on and made sure we were all warm enough.

This morning we were paired up with different people and we tried panhandling. We asked a store to borrow a pen, found a piece of cardboard and wrote: Homeless, anything helps. Thank you. Within 5 minutes we had acquired  $55 as well as a croissant each. We decided that was enough for the day and we still had left over food from the day before. We went to the library, where we stayed for a couple hours. My partner saw a bus outside and suggested we take the bus around the city just to kill some time, so we did. I got on the bus and was to pay $2, the driver asked if I was a tourist, I replied, "I'm homeless". He said he'll charge me half price and to take it safe. We killed a couple hours with the ride, went to Starbucks and are now back at the library. There's a free movie showing the library at 6 that we're going to to kill time and then we're all meeting up at 9 to find somewhere to sleep. Tomorrow morning, like this morning, we'll be up by 5:30 and out of where we stayed at latest by 6, and be back to the Coalition by 8. Let's make tonight a good one.

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