Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Oh, no!

Things had been going so well for Napoloen and his humans, Randi and Caleb. After more than a year of living on the streets, the tide was turning. Caleb has been driving a forklift in a grocery warehouse. Randi works in a salon, answering phones and doing laundry and sweeping up. In addition to their jobs, they have continued to panhandle, saving up the money they'll need to pay two months' rent in advance on a bedroom in Chicago's Boystown neighborhood. Once they move indoors, they'll have so much more freedom (a room with a door means they can leave their beloved cat alone) and so many more options (having an address and the ability to shower every day makes them more employable).

But in their quest to get off the streets, it seems it's always one step, two steps back for this little family. Randi spent last night and all day in the hospital! She has a lung infection. Her boss at the salon has been understanding -- keeping the job open for her -- but isn't paying her for the time off.

Caleb is worried that the hospital won't release her this afternoon. He's concerned that even if she is released, he won't be able to raise the $35 he'll need for her meds. It's hard to beg on street corners during today's intermittent snow showers because people don't want to stop. If he can't raise the $35, he'll have to dip into their rent fund, which will push their dream of living indoors further away.

I saved $5.96 at Walgreens today, and so I gave $6 to Caleb. I want to help, of course, but I don't want them to depend on me too much financially because I still feel my own job is tenuous. On the other hand, that $5.96 is what I saved with my AARP discount, so it's like found money. And it brings the total Caleb needs to earn today down to $29.

PS Every now and again, a shaft of sunlight shines through this saga. Today I'm happy to report that the hospital bent/broke the rules and allowed Napoleon to stay indoors, in Randi's room! Caleb explained that they had nowhere to safely leave the cat (don't forget, he works overnights) and Randi refused to stay in the hospital without Napoloen. God bless that doctor.


  1. Boy--one step up, two steps back is really their story. I keep hoping for them!

  2. I read the later post before this one. Wow....life can really be a mess and a tangle that never seems to stop and let us catch our breath. And yes, God bless that doctor..all her doctors...