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Bethesda

What If Your Safety Net Doesn't Feel Safe?

Amy L. Freeman | Posted 05.28.2014 | Impact
Amy L. Freeman

When surrounded by friends and family on whom one can count for support of every kind, it's hard to imagine the downward spiral that can land someone ...

Sometimes, You Just Gotta Get Away (Even If You're Homeless)

Amy L. Freeman | Posted 07.13.2014 | Impact
Amy L. Freeman

The conversation shifted to a kind of Yelp-type review of local and distant shelters, evaluating their safety, cleanliness and the competency of their staffs.

I Have No Idea Who Is Sitting Next to You, But You Don't Either

Amy L. Freeman | Posted 07.07.2014 | DC
Amy L. Freeman

I was waiting in a line at a supermarket Tuesday morning when a woman I know only by her first name (Helena) got in line behind me and asked how my jo...

Much Ado About Mayo

Amy L. Freeman | Posted 07.01.2014 | Impact
Amy L. Freeman

I write today not just to applaud a bunch of teens who got up early on a Saturday morning to help, without a single request for "service hours," but to underscore the importance of a packet of mayonnaise.

The Moment Lost in a Smile Withheld

Amy L. Freeman | Posted 06.24.2014 | Good News
Amy L. Freeman

I wondered what has happened to her, what people have said (or not said) to or near her, words or glances that have torn at her soul so deeply that she expects nothing but scorn.

Does This Bus Shelter Make Me Look Fat?

Amy L. Freeman | Posted 06.07.2014 | DC
Amy L. Freeman

Last week, I overheard a conversation in which an enormous, middle-aged man -- not just tall, but carrying enough girth to be easily considered morbid...

For Want of a Key, A Life Will Be Squandered

Amy L. Freeman | Posted 06.01.2014 | Impact
Amy L. Freeman

Second, well, look back at what I wrote, above, "I unlocked the door to my office." I unlocked my door, just as I had locked my house on leaving for work, unlocked my car to drive to work and locked it again on arriving.

Respecting Someone Living Unsheltered

Amy L. Freeman | Posted 05.10.2014 | Impact
Amy L. Freeman

I totally sympathized, wondered what other miserable dominoes that lack of funds would push over. So I didn't blame him when he totally lost it in a room full of people who are actually on his team.

Rats Don't Bite, So Sleep Well?

Amy L. Freeman | Posted 05.03.2014 | Impact
Amy L. Freeman

What made it even more appalling than the subject matter itself -- rat bites in your sleep -- was the calm, conversational tones they used to exchange this information with each other, like comparing restaurants or the easiest places to find parking.

5 Truths About Housing Costs In Tech Hubs Like San Francisco

Jed Kolko | Posted 04.08.2014 | Business
Jed Kolko

The Trulia Price Monitor and the Trulia Rent Monitor are the earliest leading indicators of how asking prices and rents are trending nationally and lo...

Dangerously Uninformed: Getting News to the Unsheltered

Amy L. Freeman | Posted 03.15.2014 | Impact
Amy L. Freeman

Monday's weather was cold, but I could not sense the dangerous "polar vortex" of sub-zero temperatures that newscasters kept warning would descend on the mid-Atlantic that very night. Not for the first time, I wondered about life on the street.

The Bonds and Bounds of Caring

Amy L. Freeman | Posted 03.11.2014 | Impact
Amy L. Freeman

Over time, I expanded my "brother" from my actual family to include my physical neighbors, then various communities, and ultimately, heck, the whole darned planet.

Christmas, Without the Cheer

Amy L. Freeman | Posted 02.23.2014 | Impact
Amy L. Freeman

Living on the streets is a miserable, painful existence, fraught with physical and emotional difficulties. Maybe the holidays are the straw that breaks the camel's back. Or maybe they are just the burden of yet another straw.

May Memories of Sugarplums Dance In Their Heads

Amy L. Freeman | Posted 02.15.2014 | Impact
Amy L. Freeman

For lots of different reasons, our clients generally are not currently in close contact with their families; if they were, they might not be sleeping on the streets. But they have families, of course, and they have memories of them.

When Parents Are Naughty, Children Aren't Nice (Or: Helping Those In Need Is an Honor, Not a Lesson)

Amy L. Freeman | Posted 02.08.2014 | Impact
Amy L. Freeman

Those who are hungry, those who are living unsheltered, those who desperately need what so many of us certainly do take for granted, are not animals in a zoo from which we all can learn. They are human beings who need our attention, resources and support.

A Christmas Story Gone Horribly Wrong: Sometimes There Isn't Even a Manger

Amy L. Freeman | Posted 02.03.2014 | Impact
Amy L. Freeman

This December 9th is the due date of a woman I will probably never meet. She lives in a tarpaulin-tent in some woods behind a convenience store, in a Maryland town a few miles north of where I sit right now. Few of our clients are expectant women, but it's not unheard of.

The Saddest List I've Ever Seen

Amy L. Freeman | Posted 01.25.2014 | DC
Amy L. Freeman

Whatever one's religion, the sheer noise of this season must scratch open those wounds. The outpouring of holiday offerings from kind-hearted souls are much-needed band-aids, but our clients have injuries that need stitches or surgery.

When a Front Door Stands Between Life and Death

Amy L. Freeman | Posted 01.25.2014 | Impact
Amy L. Freeman

As I sit down to type this, it's heading towards nine o'clock on a bitterly cold November night; a sylvan moon is sending silver light slanting throug...

Whither Ye Olde Stomping Grounds?

Magda Abu-Fadil | Posted 01.23.2014 | Travel
Magda Abu-Fadil

Not a single pay phone in sight in Washington, D.C. It was a shocking discovery after a seven-year absence from my old stomping grounds. I went vi...

All Hail, Supermarket Fundraising Volunteers!

Amy L. Freeman | Posted 01.23.2014 | Impact
Amy L. Freeman

When I go to buy groceries, I am not interested in the Boy Scouts' latest accomplishments. Standing at Bethesda Cares' table, I hate it when shoppers ignore me.

Homelessness and Angels Unaware

Amy L. Freeman | Posted 01.23.2014 | Impact
Amy L. Freeman

'Homeless' is where some people are, today. It's not where they were, or where they will be. 'Homeless' can define a time in someone's life, but it can never define who that person is.

I Get Mail, Therefore I Am.

Amy L. Freeman | Posted 12.22.2013 | Impact
Amy L. Freeman

I'm well aware that our office mailing address is a sorry substitute for a home address. But at least it's a place where someone living on the streets can tell someone, anyone, where and how to find them.

Time, Hope, Homelessness

Amy L. Freeman | Posted 01.23.2014 | Impact
Amy L. Freeman

I saw hope almost crush a man: Day after day, "Joseph," an older man, silently took the same seat at the same table at our Center. He was waiting for approval of his housing application, and the waiting and hoping, combined, almost paralyzed him.

A Brief Rant About the Shutdown and Fiscal Stupidity

Amy L. Freeman | Posted 12.11.2013 | DC
Amy L. Freeman

I am angry about what the lack of paychecks will inevitably do to people living from paycheck to paycheck: It will put some of them on the streets.

How Can You Sleep in a Parking Lot? That's Not a Rhetorical Question

Amy L. Freeman | Posted 12.07.2013 | Impact
Amy L. Freeman

Amnesty International describes sleep deprivation as "cruel, inhumane and degrading." Anyone care to tell me why our tolerating our citizens' living on the streets -- knowing they cannot be getting proper sleep, realizing what that means for their physical and mental health -- merits any kinder adjective?