Another installment of “The Invisible Ones” of Washington, DC
I noticed Vernell sitting near one of the non-working fountains outside Union Station out of site from the main entrance where the Union Station Security police are on patrol to discourage the homeless from loitering or entering the main station. When I approached Vernell he was friendly and conversational, sadly he also seems to be mentally ill in that he said he was waiting for his limo to take him back to the White House where he had meetings to attend. If I had a car he would allow me to drive him there instead of waiting for the Secret Service. I don’t make it a habit to encourage delusional conversation so I changed the subject asking Vernell if he would allow me to take his photograph in exchange for a bottle of water and a few granola bars. He agreed to do so. There are many homeless men and women in this very same situation and they are largely ignored by those who pass them by every day. I would suggest trying this instead, just ask how they are doing and if there is anything you can do to help in some way. You may be pleasantly surprised by what happens next.