Another installment of “The Invisible Ones” of Washington, DC
Dupont Circle in Washington, DC is a very hectic place with two Metro entrances/exits on the North and South side of the circle, along with ten busy streets feeding into the traffic circle. The circle itself is a sleeping place for dozens of homeless people as the perimeter is lined with benches. I was sitting on one such bench on a recent hot and humid morning when I spotted Lorenzo darting in and out of traffic stopping briefly on a street corner as morning commuters passed him by.
Lorenzo has considerable difficulty standing in one place for any length of time, although he did agree to allow me this photograph and talk for a bit. I asked him about the Winter gloves given that it was already hot and humid early in the morning. He simply said he needed to wear them. The same explanation was offered for the bandages on his face. Lorenzo says he has been homeless on and off for about five years. This particular time of one year has been the longest. I have no way of knowing about how he came to be homeless, his family, or any history of mental health care as he simply won’t share this information which is not all that unusual.
Lorenzo is a friendly and affable young man if you are inclined to stop and talk with him. He is not an aggressive panhandler, letting his signage speak for him. In spite of that he doesn’t do very well panhandling as he can’t stay in one spot for very long. After I took my photograph and compensated Lorenzo with a food voucher, I returned to the park bench and watched as he was ignored by dozens and dozens of work day commuters who didn’t even seem to notice this striking fellow in the middle of the sidewalk – truly one of “The Invisible Ones.”