Not literally. I live on the 1st floor.
Among the many things I noticed when I arrived in D.C. a month ago: people who were less fortunate living on the streets in numbers way more than I’m used to back home. I have had to reassess my expectations of D.C. and the United States in general. Being a foreigner – specifically, a resident alien – it would be terrible for me to rely on false assumptions about this country. I have been trying my best to be politically correct, holding back my tongue, keeping in mind I know very little of the local community and hoping that there must be some form of social welfare “safety net” out there. Yet, culturally and emotionally, I find myself unable to avoid having sympathy for the homeless here.
As I find myself lost and unable to articulate my sympathy into words or manifest actions, it was a relief that I found a group of local students who I felt I could associate myself with.
Over the weekend, I joined “Project Downtown”, a regular occurring event in which members of the DC community come together to make sandwiches and assemble bagged lunches for the homeless members of the community. The number of people that came down to help out early on that Saturday morning gave me some assurance that there are people out there who are doing something to address the various issues affecting the local community.
The Project is a monthly event I intend to participate in. I know, a few sandwiches will not alleviate hunger in all of the United States or even D.C., I daresay it was barely significant, I might even be insulting, and I’m pretty sure there are people out there who might even be against the idea.
To put things in a different perspective, I’ve been getting free food for various reasons; they’re just getting some too.