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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Dorothy gets Mail

I bet you're asking: who's Dorothy? Dorothy is the name I'll use in the future for the woman I've been calling "my friend the prostitute." For the purposes of this blog, she's now named after Dorothy Day, founder of the Catholic Worker, who staked her life on the observation that "The gospel takes away our right forever, to discriminate between the deserving and the undeserving poor."

Anyway, while I was in Colombia, some mail for Dorothy arrived at my house. I think it's from the Department of Human Services, probably paperwork related to applying for SSI (Supplemental Security Income).

Dorothy is in her mid-fifties, homeless, crack-addicted, has mental health issues and is HIV positive. She's been on the streets a long time and it seems like she's finally starting to get ready to get off them, I hope for good. Although the government has strictly narrowed the eligibility criteria over the last decade or so, if she doesn't qualify I'll be fighting mad.

This afternoon, she was coming down the street just as I was walking out the door to get my bike and ride to the post office for a package. "Wait, I have some mail for you!" I said, going back in the house for the three big manila envelopes.

"I was waiting for you to get back," she told me. "I didn't want to come up and check in your mailbox."

"You look good," I told her. "Healthy." She was eating a banana and drinking juice. She does look better. She's not rail-thin any more and her skin is brighter.

"Thanks," she said. "I'm going to a meeting tonight. You know, those people I used to hang around with--they're just depressed all the time. They argue."

"What you're doing is hard work," I said. "I'm praying for you."

"Keep on praying," she said. If anyone reading this post wants to join in, you'd be very welcome. Just pray for Maritza's friend Dorothy. I'm betting God will know who you're talking about.

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