By Kyle Broeckel
Timothy and Mary live beneath the overpass five minutes from my house. A little-used bike path runs alongside Escondido’s drainage canal, then dips down under a busier highway, and there in the shade, with the concrete of the canal yawning to one side, the couple has set up camp.
“It cost the city millions of dollars to build this overpass,” Timothy told me, then laughed, “We were the first ones in.”
I laughed too. It was a quick moment of shared acknowledgment. We had been accidentally generous to the people on our streets, had acted out an unintended grace.
“It’s cool here all day,” Timothy explained, “Never gets above 80 degrees.”
I met Timothy and Mary one summer a couple years ago when I started biking downtown a lot, just to get out of the house. Biking took me through some of the places where the homeless lived, and I felt guilty seeing them. I had been part of a homeless ministry during the school year. Wouldn’t I be a hypocrite if I came home and ignored the homeless? The feeling grew as the summer deepened. Finally, I resolved to act.
Kyle Broeckel grew up in San Diego, CA, and now lives in Spokane, WA, where he is currently attending Whitworth University. He is in his senior year as a sociology major, but is also pursuing a variety of other interests, including writing. He enjoys thrift stores, hiking, and reading in class. Also penguins.