Another installment of “The Invisible Ones” of Washington, DC
Michael and Sandra are a married couple who have been homeless for two years. They had been living with Michael’s mother here in Washington, DC but when she passed away two years ago they were unable to keep up with the payments and other bills and ended up on the street where they have been ever since. When I first saw them they were sitting in the sun near Union Station drying out from the previous night’s rain storms. Michael was panhandling with the clear intention of raising enough money to buy a tent at the nearby Walmart. That particular item would cost them $75.00 but at least it would get them under cover. I contributed to the cause in exchange for this photograph. The shelter system in DC is not very accommodating to married couples, so sleeping outdoors is often the best and safest option. Michael and Sandra are a friendly and affable couple but in spite of this were not doing very well panhandling even though this was the height of the morning rush hour with hundreds of people going to and from Capitol Hill. The problem with being invisible is there is little or nothing you can do to cause people to see you if they are determined not to. If you pass by the Massachusetts Ave. side of Union Station stop and say hello to Sandra & Michael. If you’re so inclined, help them out with their goal of getting that tent. The both of you will be the better for the experience.