While the children have been busy with all sorts of fun summer activities at Patchwork, those receiving our Neighborhood Hospitality have been accommodating and gracious as the hours that we’re offering showers, coffee, a place to rest, and other services have changed from week to week in order to keep them opposite our children’s programming.
Recent Hospitality highlights include:
- One morning, one of our regular guests noticed a new man come inside looking a little lost. The regular spoke to the new man and quickly found out that the man did not speak English well but that the man needed food from our food pantry. The regular had grown up in El Paso so he had learned to speak Spanish. He acted as a translator to help Shawn write a food pantry referral for the second man and to get some phone numbers for employers to help the second man in his search for a job. As the man’s food order was filled, a past children’s program participant arrived with her small children to get some diapers. The children looked at the fish in our fish tank and jabbered to the Hispanic man, who had bent down to listen to them while he waited for his food.
- A homeless man asked for a pair of pliers to fix the handlebars on his bike. I found out that he’d been riding it broken for several days, so he was really happy to get it fixed. He was in a great mood and his enthusiasm was infectious.
- A man came in and picked up a loaf of bread. He said that he’d just moved from Indianapolis and had gotten a job at a restaurant. After work the night before, his boss had given him a bucket of tuna salad to eat. He was glad the bread would turn it into meals.
- A homeless man who has been showering at Patchwork off and on for the past few months brought in a pack of razors to contribute to our stock of toiletries. He said he wanted to “pay it forward” and had had an extra dollar so he used it to get the razors for everyone.
Last week, I was talking to someone who was a little exasperated with and amazed by all the traffic through our building. He asked, “Theoretically, tomorrow everybody in the city of Evansville could just come into Patchwork and make themselves at home, is that right?!”
“Yes,” I replied. “Theoretically if everyone in Evansville decided to come in and visit us tomorrow, they could.” And I pretty much meant it, too.