Another installment of "The Invisible Ones" of Washington, DC
Daniel is a self described alcoholic who kicked a heroin habit a few years ago but began drinking instead. He was not panhandling when I saw him sitting in a building entry way looking quite ill. Daniel's story is not uncommon for people that are dependent on a number of substances. Daniel has family in the DC area but they have taken a hard line with him insisting that until he gets sober he will not have any help from them. This is a position that he totally understands as he has taken advantage of his family all too of†en. Daniel is well aware of all the sobriety programs that are available in the city. He says he knows when he's ready to quit. What he wants now is a drink to ward off impending withdrawl symptoms. Daniel wasn't particularly disappointed to learn that I wouldn't give him any money. He was agreeable to a food voucher and a bottle of water in exchange for his participation in the "Invisible Ones" photography project. It's easy to dismiss the homeless that are obviously substance addicted. I would not suggest that anyone subsidize that addiction with a cash donation. What may be more useful is to show some humanity. A little time and conversation costs you nothing and means everything to those who are invisible.