I haven’t been Downtown Denver since my husband’s Christmas party, so when I came up over the Colfax exit this morning, the view was so astoundingly beautiful, I had to catch my breath.  

     I’ve worked in the heart of this city for many years , I know the beauty is abundant and the pictures are amazing.  But when  you look closer, there are countless number of homeless, cold, hungry, with no place to stay.  I used to watch them from my window at work.  Sometimes I’d  give one a sandwich, or a bottle of water from my lunch.  The puppies probably bother me the most.  They are used by these unfortunates to get more money, to grasp and dig into our sympathies. Usually underfed, some weighted down with backpacks, these simple creatures hold no grudge to their owners. A few of the panhandlers simply went into a bad situation, already owning the pet,  but the ones who get the little pups for their own gain, then discard them like they were trash, angers me to no end.

     “You can’t save everybody.” My husband’s well meaning, intelligent words are kind and I know it’s true.  

    Departing my meeting, running out to my car, dodging the snow flakes,  I encountered a  homeless woman with a grocery cart.  She tugged the overloaded basket from the front, inching the wheels over the ice crusted sidewalk, getting stuck besides my car. I pushed the basket from the back to help her.  She thanked me with a nod of her head, turned around and continued on.  I sat in my car  watching her continuous struggle, and immediately started fishing in all the compartments for loose change.

    I know I can’t save the world, but I have a good start don’t you think?Image



8 thoughts on “Downtown

  1. a few years back I bought some ‘meal tickets’ from a shelter. These tickets were easy, any human being that was not intoxicated could bring them to the shelter and get a hot meal and place to crash for the night. I felt like a king, buying 10 of them and giving them out in less then a week. I later found out that although the money went to the shelter (at an impressive rate of 97 cents per dollar) not one of the tickets I gave out ever came in to be used. they know this because they gave out 500.00 of them and none came back.
    sorry to say but call me jaded!


  2. Hi, Bobbi,
    I had a simular experiences in London, during the Olympics I thought I would give my little books out, one book is about Right of Ways and the other is about coping with disabilities. Whilst at Victoria Station a lady came up to me and said she would have a place to stay but she only needed £28 to get it. I could smell that this lady smoked and wondered if most of that money would go on cigerettes, but I could not go away without giving her some money and both my little books and saying if she did the free personal journals in the books at the local library it might give her more strength within to keep asking until she had enough money.
    Then on the underground in a train a man mumbled he needed money, having had the previous experience I called him over and asked “How much money do you want?” he said the he need about £4.50 for something to eat and drink, “I do not give money for drugs and drink” I said, his reply was “I am not drunk and or on drugs but very very hungry as I have not eaten for a very long time” . I gave him £2.00 and told him to tell the rest of the people in the train that he was not drunk or on drugs but desperately needed money for food. Others then gave him food and drink plus some money. I was momentarily pleasing to see him get off the train and eat. What happened to him after that? It sends a chill down your spine. Lorraine A. Jones


    • Very nice story Lorraine. I am well aware of the “scammers” out there, but I will not stop helping when I able to do so. Even the scammers are pretty much down on their luck and yes it send chills. Look forward to many more of your posts.


  3. I feel the same way Bobbi, I’ve been approached and I can’t help wishing their was more I could do to help them besides give them a couple of dollars. I offer a few words of encouragement about doing the right thing, and taking care of themselves, especially women or young girls, for whatever it’s worth. I know scamming for money isn’t the ideal life or the life they envisioned for themselves when they were growing up. Life isn’t easy for any of us and especially difficult if they were brought up only knowing abuse, hopelessness and dysfunctional families, imagine if this is the only lifestyle you have ever known. It breaks my heart to see homeless women on the streets especially in cities like San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Santa Monica.., I look around at the expensive cars passing buy, the tall sky scrapers, the huge homes on the water, people shopping, going out for the eveing and wonder if only these wealthy people could spend just a little time to think of the less fortunate and either help financially or mentor them, or send them to a rehab to help get them on their feet or support a center to help them. I think it could be beneficial to both the wealthy and the homeless. I know it’s unrealistic but it’s a good thought. I don’t think many of the wealthy people, or over paid movie stars, or whatever give the homeless a second thought. Homeless to many of them are a only an annoyance. I see the homeless and wonder what their lives were like growing up, their story.., Life is so difficult and hardships can be great without the support of a loving family many of us could very easily be sitting beside them. I wish there was more programs for the homeless and mentally ill. It bothers me that only those who are wealthy enough can afford rehab, or receive psychiatric help and those that can’t are left to live in the streets to wither away and die.


    • Thanks Gayna, The homeless women in Denver are surpassing the men by leaps and bounds. I spoke with a homeless woman sitting outside my office. She was with another woman and a sixteen year old mentally challenged boy. They each had rolling suitcases, along with a grocery cart from King Soopers. I went out to offer her a bottle of water. When she reached out to take it, I noticed she was missing her left arm. Her story is a sad one indeed. She was traveling to California on the bus to stay with her daughter and grandson. Arriving in Denver, she became gravely ill and they rushed her from the bus terminal to the hospital where she remained for six weeks. When she was released, she had no momey left and her daughter is in no financial to help her. I am sure there is way more to that story but the end result is the same. She met up with the other woman and her son and they have been on the streets together for a month. The price of her bus ticket is hard to come by. She can’t stake out a corner because they are all taken and she has been beat up several times over territorial rights. If they are lucky enough to get into a shelter at night, they sleep with one eye open because the chance of sexual assault, or being robbed is at a 90% probability for females.


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