Another installment of "The Invisible Ones" of Washington, DC
I met Carlos while he was sitting on the sidewalk a few blocks from Capitol Hill panhandling. He had a broken and tattered suitcase and a smaller bag containing all of his belongings. When I inquired about his being homeless he initially said he was camping but later changed that to being homeless for the past several months since coming to Washington, DC. Carlos tells me that he originally was from Arkansas, traveled through Chicago to DC to get away from people who had stolen and hacked into his computer. He did not care to elaborate on that story. Carlos has no friends or family in the DC area and cannot or will not be returning to Arkansas.
Carlos did not seem familiar with the shelter system or services available for the homeless in DC so I provided him with that information plus a bottle of water and some food in exchange for this photograph. Carlos is a friendly and gregarious man who is not at all threatening, yet even though he is sitting on a very busy sidewalk at 8:30 AM on a weekday morning, he is invisible. If you see Carlos or someone like him in need of shelter on your way to the office, give them a bottle of water. It's terribly hot on the street and you kindness will be appreciated.