We are already in our sleeping bags (with the IJB in her box). It's cold already - and the mosquitoes are out, buzzing around our heads.
I peek into her box and find her doing her AP math homework by flashlight. I find it strangely upsetting, maybe because I have met young adults like her who are on the streets and who may never finish school.
The folks from Centre of Hope have been around "stealing" from the participants. The IJB and I are wise to this trick and one of us always stays in our camp to keep watch. Reality is when you are homeless you are prone to being the victim of crime - theft, assault, everything and anything. What few possessions you have are fair game for others.
As I put in my nightly eye drops I reflect on how anyone who has my eye condition and is homeless would likely simply end up irreversibly blind. When I was in the hospital for the surgery to fix my corneal perforation the nurses were talking about a fellow patient with the same condition who was "non compliant". It was pretty clear this patient was seeing some rough times - she was my room mate and while she may not have been homeless I suspect her life was difficult. At times my eye disease has meant putting in eye drops every hour and having ones that must be kept in a fridge - how would someone homeless do this? How would they travel to see the specialist I see in Edmonton on a regular basis? How would they be able to follow the treatment plan I will need to follow for a corneal transplant like I will soon receive?
Truth is if I was homeless, I would be blind with no likelihood of ever regaining my sight, a chance I only have because I have a home, a job and a support system.
Suddenly I'm terrified. This is going to be a long and troubling night,