Flick: Why I’m Living In A Box For 3 Days
I used to think, much like you might, the Salvation Army means one thing … red kettles at Christmas.
That was before I knew 2 things. First being, how much and what the Salvation Army actually does. The second being what we walk past in this city on a daily basis without even realizing. Until I spent some time under the Liberty Bridge with the Salvation Army feeding the homeless, I didn’t either.
As adults, I feel like we have a subconscious, preconceived notion in our heads of what a homeless person is supposed to be like. I did. I expected to meet a type of person that I would otherwise never cross paths with. To be honest, I didn’t know what I expected. I definitely didn’t expect the normal interactions that we all have on a day-to-day basis while under a bridge, holding a canteen full of breakfast on a stick.
I wish I had gotten her name. Blonde. Pink shirt. Jeans.
I handed her, just as we did everyone else who was down there or asked, a breakfast stick. Picture a corndog made out of sausage and pancake. She sat. She ate. When she was done, the next thing she said really knocked me back – “Excuse sir, could I please have another breakfast thing?”, followed by a very polite “Thank you.”
This reverberated in my brain for a few days. It took me days to figure out why. I didn’t expect ‘us’ to be down there.
That could’ve been me.
It could’ve been you, your aunt, mother, sister, your best friend…who fell on hard times, possibly by no fault of their own.
Again, as an adult and consciously, we know better. There’s still those stereo types in the back of your mind that were indoctrinated at a young age and stay with us. Even though we know better…
Another gentleman I met down there told me in length about his 7 years serving our country. When he got to the part of the story where he was ‘Black Ops’ for the final 2 years, I jokingly said, “Man … so you were pretty much off the books for 2 years then?” His reply, “I still am.”
You’re probably reacting as I did. First with a “woh…”. Then ‘that’s too Tom Clancy to be true.’ Both fortunately and unfortunately our friends at SA have confirmed that story through independent sources.
Now you know why I’m bunking down in a box for 3 days.
I’ll only be eating the food that the SA shelters provide to their tenants on a daily basis.
The only electronic I’ll have is my phone.
I’ll only be leaving this box to use the facilities.
We’re recreating the conditions that these people live in everyday as authentically as possible. We’ll be raising cash and awareness for the homeless situation and what SA does.
Click here to see photos from both inside and outside the box at Man In A Box.
Read real-life stories of people helped by the Salvation Army. Click here.
Watch Flick as he lives in a box at PPG Place to raise awareness of homelessness in Western PA. Click here to watch.
How You Can Help
Please join The Salvation Army on the front lines of compassion, fighting the good fight against despair. Your contribution is an investment in futures, because what it ultimately provides is a sense of hope for those who have none.
Our goal is to help the Salvation Army raise $10,000 to help the homeless in Western Pennsylvania. Please help us reach that goal. Click here to donate online.
Text to Donate
Text GIVEPGH to 80888 to make a $10 donation to The Salvation Army*. $10 will provide 3 hot meals to a homeless person.
*You will receive a confirmation text back.