When I first met Chris, he was probably in his twenties, although not adolescent, by all standards would be considered a youth. I do not know Chris’ backstory, but he presented himself as disorganized, yet generally appeared to be harmless to himself or others. That was four years ago. Chris came to The Upper Room almost daily.
“Hey, what time is it?” he would ask continually, even though the clock was right in front of him over the coffee pot. One of the guys would say “look right there,” pointing at the large round dial. Five minutes later Chris would ask again.
“Do I have any mail?” -his next question, repeated several times over the course of a half hour. I should have seen it right away, but it took a steady deterioration over the next year for me to come to the conclusion that he suffered from Schizophrenia. Nevertheless, The Upper Room provided Chris with clothes, a warm coat, and winter boots. Chris always needed help, and The Upper Room does all it can to be there for Chris. He may always be homeless, living in the woods or an old abandoned factory up on 16th Street. Our job is to help him with a warm clean blanket, maybe a new toothbrush, and offer him a dry warm retreat where he might find a little peace in his life.