I Caught on Quick She Was a Nice Person

Reginaldo Andrade/Flickr

We met at Van Ness UDC. She saw me first and said, “I’ve never seen you here before. What’s your name?”

I caught on quick that she was a nice person.

I was panhandling at the time and told her “My name is Beverly.”

Then she took me into the Giant and bought me a couple of ham and cheese sandwiches. After that she went back into the store and came out with a couple of bottles of water and a Coke, all for me.

I told her I was homeless and she asked me how long. I told her I been sleeping on the streets for 35 years and that in recent years I was sleeping in the park on Pennsylvania Avenue, near GW University.

I asked her what she did for work and she told me she was an attorney.

She said she would help me get on my feet till I found a job.

She gave me suggestions of what to do to find a job. She had someone in her family who worked in a hotel and suggested I look for a job like that.

So I went to the Hilton Hotel on Silver Spring Road and I got a job. My job was to fold sheets. Another woman and I worked together folding, one sheet at a time.

During that time, I didn’t see my attorney friend, because I got off work in the evening.

I worked at the hotel for six months. My luck was improving because I also found an apartment through social services.

Then I fell real hard on the floor in the hotel basement and hurt my arm real bad. The doctor put me on bed rest.

After I recuperated, I met a Street Sense vendor named Mark who told me I could get a job selling Street Sense, and he brought me to the office. That was five or six years ago.

I sold Street Sense at Van Ness, where I had been panhandling, and where I met the nice lady.

I was so glad to see her again. Ever since then I see her every day, she pays my cell phone bill, and she buys the paper from me.

I feel happy to know her. Even though she didn’t know me, she treated me with such kindness, like I was a good friend.

Region |Washington DC

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We believe ending homelessness begins with listening to the stories of those who have experienced it.