This evening, instead of money, Brad needed blankets. He asked me to bring him blankets or sheets.  I walked home wondering which blanket I could give him.  As I entered the building where I live, two men behind me said “We saw you talking to Brad.”

I turned and said, “He needs blankets.” 

One of the men, his name is Ben, said that he had given Brad two blankets a few nights before. Brad unfortunately, in his child-like manner, left the blankets on the steps leading to the big bronze door where he sleeps. Some one took them.

Tonight the temperture dropped and Brad was shivering.  Ben and Dave- his friend -came to my apartment where I gathered high-thread count sheets for Brad. They took the sheets back to Brad. I hope he is sleeping warmer tonight.

A few months ago I wrote about Brad and how many people who live in Mt. Vernon try to support him. Perhaps, you have a “Brad” in your community.  If you are feeling powerless in the face of homelessness here are 12 things that you can do to impact homelessness.

  1. Give food to the homeless.
  2. Give money to the homeless.
  3. Volunteer in a homeless shelter.
  4. Donate to a homeless shelter.
  5. Advocate for the homeless by writing your Mayor, County Executive or City council.
  6. Provide warm clothes or blankets.
  7. Buy one of the newspapers that help the homeless, in Washington D.C. that news paper is called Street Sense.
  8. Create jobs.
  9. Contact local help.
  10. Call emergency services.
  11. Educate yourself about the homeless.
  12. Raise money for the homeless.

When Brad is not sleeping on the steps of  the clinic in our neighborhood he sits on a bench  across the street.


Brianna S. Clark




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