In about an hour, I'm going to dress as warmly as I can and head out the door to PS 261, where I'll meet up with folks from church (and others) for HOPE Count 2008. You can read more about it through the link, but basically, every year NYC does as accurate a count as possible of the homeless in an effort to improve services.
This isn't the first year CCfB has participated in the HOPE count, but last year, as a still-new mom and NJ resident, getting to Brooklyn at 10:30 p.m. and working through the night was not really an option. So this is my first time to do this.
Yeah, I'm nervous. I don't worry about safety (this is a well-organized sort of thing). My nervousness is more the sort that I get when I have to interact with people in less than well-defined social situations. This nervousness pretty much plagues my existence generally, but it gets acute when I encounter people whose lives engender a feeling of guilt and helplessness in me.
But that's no reason not to do something, really the opposite--a reason to do it. Fear of the other, the stranger, the alien...this is only countered by coming face to face.