After our team prepared the 100 CarePaks, we divided them among ourselves for distribution to the homeless populations in Nashville and in Memphis. In this blog post we will share our experiences handing out our first round of CarePaks.
Having worked in the downtown area of Nashville for several years, I was well acquainted of a small park wherein the homeless gather amidst the hustle and bustle of working passersby. After parking at the nearby downtown YMCA, I loaded by backpack with a dozen CarePaks and a case of water; hiked down to the park and took my perch on one of the many benches. It didn’t take long for the them to figure out my mission. Soon I had distributed the contents of my backpack and made a return trip to Jeep at the Y for a refill. Within about an hour or so, I had handed out two dozen CarePaks. We always exchanged first names occasionally accompanied by a short exchange.
Impressions: I was surprised by the number of homeless women on the street. I think it it is much harder for them than it is for the men. Virtually all recipients were receptive and grateful. The homeless folks I ran into ranged from extremely engaging and articulate to dissociative and rambling. Overall, I was impacted anew by the shear number of indigent among us; especially at a time wherein we, as a nation, are experiencing relative prosperity and low unemployment.