Monday, December 17, 2012
Jack Smith & the Christmas Store
I meet Mr. Smith in 2007 at a 2nd Saturday Art Walk event, Change Please. He is the man who made videos of homeless people, including my homeless crossword puzzle buddy, Al D. (see sidebar video links)
I always think of Jack Smith when I pass the Palace Hotel. Back then he said he was working with the city to turn the building into a shelter for homeless youth. That dream became a reality.
In this video he is standing across the street from the church that housed Long Beach's Winter Shelter while the city was looking for a building winter 2004/2005. I did not stay at that shelter Christmas eve that year. Homeless were taken upstairs to participate in a religious service. My mind tells me the service was a midnight mass ~ but do not know for sure, except deciding I might not be able to stay awake, so slept somewhere outdoors.
What bothered me afterwards, was learning one of the shelter guests had robbed a gold crucifix while upstairs in the church proper. How sad is that, robbing a church that was providing a cot and hot meal. Very sad indeed.
I was impressed with Mr. Smith's concern for those less fortunate than himself. Even more impressed when I read about the Christmas store in local newspaper ~ the Press-Telegram. Online, of course, else would not be able to share the video.