A Look Inside the PPTFH Wednesday Beach Meetup
BYLINE: Loren Levine, Psy.D.
PPTFH Volunteer Response Team Member
It’s a regular Wednesday morning meetup for PPTFH and I am standing with Mother Theresa, or as she is otherwise known, Glanda, from The People Concern. Her partner is Jessi, whose knowledge and effectiveness make them quite the dynamic duo. We are on a beautiful stretch of beach in Pacific Palisades filled with locals and visitors exercising and enjoying the view. In contrast, we are here meeting with those who are living on the streets.
Our morning has been quite the dichotomy. Jessie and I have been engaged in a lengthy conversation with a clean-cut, well-dressed, articulate man who, at first glance, would not present as homeless. As we listen to his delusions, we try to determine what is going on with him and how we can help. Glanda hurries by to tell us that the disheveled man with the kind eyes is back. He was mute yesterday. As she offers him food and assures him that we want to help, he takes the food and backs away cautiously. But today he speaks softly, an improvement from yesterday.
On this busy morning, we did not notice a Scandinavian nurse who was there to enjoy the view but found our interactions more interesting. At this point, she approaches us with her wallet open and introduces herself. She tries to give Glanda money and thanks us profusely for what we are doing. She describes her shock at the amount of homelessness she has seen during her trip to L.A. and her sadness about how much mental illness there appears to be. As Glanda respectfully declines her money and gives her a card for PPTFH to donate, she informs us how watching us has inspired her to do something and thanks us for our humanity.
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