Homeless (Part 3) – Ginger

GingerI asked Ginger, (not her real name), if she was, in fact, homeless. She said she wasn’t. She had an apartment. She shared that she had a chronic medical condition that allowed her to receive housing assistance.  At the time, we were right on the cusp of cold weather. I asked what they did when it got really cold; too cold to sleep outside. Ginger said she opened her doors and said “y’all come inside”.

I was really humbled by the matter of fact expression of her generosity.  “When was the last time you opened your doors to a stranger who was cold and hungry ?”, I asked myself.  I thought about Jesus’ teaching, “… I was a stranger and you invited me in.”  (Mt 25:35 NIV).

A week or two went by without much activity at the intersection.  Temperatures dropped over Christmas.  For about six days the daily low temperature didn’t make it above 20 degrees F.

When I caught back up with Ginger, she shared the meaning of “y’all come inside”; seven people were staying in her small apartment. Many of the group had been sick with the flu.  She had spent ten days in the hospital herself.

Jimmy, (alias),  didn’t avail himself of her offer soon enough, though. By the time he came inside part of his leg was showing signs of necrosis from frostbite and a few days later the doctors amputated half his foot.

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