SusanThe morning rush of pedestrians made their away across the street at Cyril Magnin and Market. Some in freshly ironed dark suits being careful about their coffee, some in baggy blue jeans lost in their iPod worlds, some in flowery hats clicking their cameras every few seconds. In the midst of all this, a woman hurried towards the next intersection, being careful not to bump into anyone while maintaining her pace.
Susan wanted to make sure she wasn’t late for the SAGE group session. She was looking forward to finding some good resources at the PHC event today. It had become a bit difficult to get more details about fashion and art schools, after she ran away from her brother’s place a few years ago. After that she had become, as people called it, Homeless. But for her, the word signified a phase rather than a stigma. She was hoping to get out of all this, and prayed that she’d be able to finally pursue her goals this year.
The lines were already pretty long by the time Susan reached the Bill Graham auditorium. She walked up to the registration desk and was greeted by one of the volunteers enthusiastically approaching her. ‘Hi, and welcome to Project Homeless Connect today’, he said, smiling at her. She always felt comfortable at these PHC events, somehow. Perhaps it was the fact that a lot of the people speaking at these sessions were survivors of very bad trauma in their own lives. It was nice that there was a program for people who understand and not somebody who’s just book educated on the different terms. It made her feel more human.
‘So, what brings you to PHC today?’, asked the volunteer. ‘I wanted to get involved with the SAGE group at behavioral health. I hope I’m not late, I walked all the way from Cyril Magnin for this.’, said Susan.
‘The session started a few minutes back, but I’m sure they’ll be able to accommodate you. It must have been quite a long walk for you’, said the volunteer, grinning.
‘Yes, it has been quite a long walk’, said Susan, thinking about all the hopes and struggles of the past few years. The thirteen years in Georgia, the few years with her brother before he went crazy, the struggles of being homeless, the hopes for a career in fashion and art, and now finally here. It has been a long walk indeed. But the fact that she did it for herself made her feel good about it. ‘I think it’ll be worth it’, she said smiling back at the volunteer, and cheerfully walked on.