Thursday, September 3, 2009

An observation

I am so so so far behind with my posts! I think I owe two weeks' worth of music lists. I promise I will get around to posting those lists soon, very soon.

But first, I wanted to blog on an observation I made whilst sitting in on a Safe Church Training session at St. Joseph's.

We were well into our third hour when one of the guys from The Hill popped into the room. We all looked up at him, and the facilitator, Al, said, "Can we help you?"

The guy (I don't know his name) explained that he was very concerned that the door downstairs was unlocked, and decided to come in and inform us of that fact. I suppose he expected to find T. upstairs, but instead noticed a group of eleven seated around a table. We assured him that all was well. Satisfied, the fellow mumbled his apologies for interrupting and left the room.

My initial reaction was, well if you noticed the sign downstairs, you will notice it made reference to "Workshop Attendees". But then after having thought about it, I realised that this man was only watching out for those he considered to be his friends in his neighbourhood. Think of it as sort of a Neighbourhood Watch of sorts. I've noticed that the guys on The Hill think of themselves as some sort of community. There is a group of them who spend time on the St. Joseph's grounds, part of which slope sharply downwards as it leads out of the carpark and onto Perry Street and Blacknall Presbyterian Church, hence "The Hill". Most, if not all, of them are homeless. Fate, circumstance, or whatever else have brought them together, and for better or for worse, they have come together as a community of sorts. They look out for each other. I've noticed that they are protective of each other as well as those of us who go in and out of the church. I've had several of them approach me, offering to carrying things for me into either the church or the Parish Hall. Most of them have told me that if there is ever anyone giving me trouble that I should call them, and they'll "take care" of the ruffians. Their protectiveness extended to me, and that touched me.

So I think that fellow's checking in on the Parish Hall is an extension of that. He was concerned that the door was, uncharacteristically, left unlocked on a late Wednesday night.

I hope I made some modicum of sense. It's a bit difficult to be coherent at oh-dark-thirty.

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