One Saturday morning I was outside working in the yard when I noticed a man walking by. He was walking as if he was in some pain so I asked him if I could help him out. He introduced himself as Carlos and explained that he had been walking most of the night and the morning looking for a place called victory outreach. He had been battling addiction for a while and finally decided that he was fed up and wanted to check in to a rehab facility. I did not know of the place but I invited him in to the church next door so that we could call and find out where they are located. We went in the church (Grace UMC) and pulled out the phone book to call. As it turned out, they are closed on Saturdays so I proceeded to call 211. I got the phone numbers of a couple of different rehab places and called all of them but if he wanted in he would need to wait until Monday morning. I have not had extensive experience with people battling addiction but one thing I do know is that it takes a lot of energy and determination to seek help and if Carlos did not get the help he needed that day then he would run the risk of falling back into addiction.
I was not simply going to leave Carlos alone but instead took him over to Bonhoeffer to relax and get something to eat. Carlos told me that his feet were badly hurting him because it had rained the night before and all of the walking in wet socks had caused many blisters to form. I told him to take of his socks and shoes and come in to the house to relax. He was very hesitant because he was ashamed that his feet were ugly and smelly but I reassured him that I would not mind. He eventually agreed to come inside and I got him a bucket of warm water and some soap so he could soak and clean his feet. While he was cleaning his feet I fixed some breakfast for Carlos, Jonathan and myself.
About this time Pastor Judith came over and the four of us shared a meal and some discussion. After breakfast I made one more phone call to my friend Daneille who works for City Square. I told her I had tried everywhere I knew of and my last option was to take him to Green Oaks to see if they could help him out. She affirmed my idea gave me a couple of options for a plan B too. I was ready to take him to Green Oaks when I remembered I had taken my car in to Firestone and Jonathan had to leave for work. I then turned to call my friend Bill. Bill has been visiting Bonhoeffer for our Friday meals, has joined the lead team at New Day, and has really been a wonderful member of our community. I told him a little bit about the situation and invited him to "a day in the life of the Bonhoeffer House". He said he was on his way.
When Bill came over he brought some foot powder which he rubbed on Carlos' feet to further soothe the pain. I then grabbed a pair of sandals and got him some new socks. We climbed in Bills car and left for Green Oaks. I will not bore you with the details but after about 4 hours of sitting in the waiting room Homeward Bound sent a van to come pick him up to bring him to their facilities and check him in to detox. I gave Carlos my phone number and a hug and left with Bill. As we were headed to the car Carlos came running out to say thank you again. He said that no one had really helped him out like that before and he was grateful for what Jonathan, Bill and I had done. Frankly, we really didn't do all that much. We gave him some water for his feet, some food for his stomach and a ride to Green Oaks. All he really needed was a little bit of help.