The Sixth Day

Every Saturday, a Westside Anglicans Neighbourhood Ministry Street Outreach team consisting of two or three individuals takes to the westside streets to connect with our friends who live on the street, delivering food, toiletries, sleeping bags and other supplies. 

Street Outreach teams also provide Information about the services offered by the WANM’s twice-monthly Mobile Care Unit—housing applications, tax forms, ID replacement—as well as doctor’s services. 

On average, Street Outreach team members connect with 20 street friends each Saturday. Serving our homeless and vulnerable neighbours provides an incredible opportunity for each of us to feel gratitude, not just for the blessings we have, but to each of those we serve for letting us into their lives.

Following is a poem by Eric Pollins, a member of a Street Outreach Team at St. Anselm’s, University Blvd., and presented as part of the parish’s special activities during Homelessness Action Month in October 2021. 

Eric joins his wife, Peg, on Street Outreach outings whenever he can and brings along their dog, Stella, much to the delight of all whom they meet.

The Sixth Day

By Eric Pollins

My old friend woke me today 

Same as yesterday, 

Same as tomorrow. 

“What’s for breakfast?” 

As if I knew 

Half a smoke

Will have to do

For now.

Today, we may get lucky

 I say: 

“A kind stranger 

May drop enough 

For a whole pack!”

My old friend quiets 

For a moment. 

Until tomorrow, 

And tomorrow, 

And tomorrow, 

Somebody said. 

The petty pace 

Never outruns the dark,

Stops the cold,

Or quiets my old friend for long.

But

On the Sixth Day 

New friends wake me. 

Their faces change 

But not their names:

– Warmth 

– Compassion  

– Dignity

– He/She/They 

Remind me who I Really Am. 

Bearing gifts of Hope, of Friendship, of Warm Socks and PBJ 

When my new friends come 

My old friend is quiet for the whole day. 

Today is good! 

My old friend will be back tomorrow 

And tomorrow, 

And tomorrow. 

But on the Sixth Day 

Our new friends will return

And we will rest 

Again.

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