There is a man who has been a great help to me with my campaign so far. He spent over two decades in prison. Though thin, he has diabetes. His liver is failing. His feet hurt him immensely. He's been a heroin addict. And, like many homeless or near homeless people, he has a hard time working with people. It seems he's been kicked out of many places downtown. I sat in his one room apartment yesterday talking about his life. The rocking chair I sat in had a busted seat that he filled with cloths for me to sit on. There's a sink bolted to the wall in his room. The shared bathroom is down the hall. There is no air conditioning. It's hot on the third floor. Most people leave their doors open to circulate air. The building is old. Paint is peeling. But there's a man there that cleans the place. He keeps it nice. My friend occasionally gives me gifts. Today he gave me these vegetables. I asked if someone else in the building needed them. He said at best people just have microwaves. So they don't have much use for vegetables. My friend has nothing to cook with. He has no tv. Each drawer of his 5 drawer cabinet is missing half the nobs. When I feel down, being around him always lifts me up. His life is hard. Harder than anything I've ever come anywhere near experiencing. I wanted to give you a picture of him. But when I told him I was going to write this he was adamant that I not show his picture or mention his name. Most homeless people tell me this. It's like they want to be invisible. But this invisibility becomes a threat for them. The Mayflower Hotel occasionally gets mentioned in the mayoral debates. Many low income people live there. It's mentioned in a way that sounds like the goal is to get "those" people out of there. "Those" people are unsightly to the out of town workers that come downtown to work and then get in their cars and drive to their bedroom communities. But here is the thing: you can't just make poor people disappear. They go somewhere. And chances are they are shuffled somewhere where they don't know how to get around and none of their services are nearby. We can't just keep moving people that make us uncomfortable. These people are our neighbors. We have a responsibility to everyone of our neighbors. The answer is to be more involved with the homeless and the poor. You can't as easily ignore and disdain people you have a relationship with. Here's an idea: The next time you get asked for money give the person a gift certificate to McDonald's. If you have the time go with them. They would LOVE the company. Meet the weakest in your community. You'll probably get more out of the relationship than they will.