“This guy right here, with the hat on, I talked to him for about thirty or forty five minutes…we were talking about the trees and sitting there in silence. I was telling him, ‘Why do you have to wait for someone to pass before you can have a moment of silence. You can have that any time of the day.’ And he said, ‘Man, thank you for saying that.’ He said, ‘I appreciate having this conversation with you because I don’t have a lot of people I can talk to and understand where I’m coming from.’ Then he admitted and said, ‘Man, I used to be out here. I used to be hanging out. I’m a recovering addict.’
…then he told me he was a musician. So he started playing on the xylophone. And then she showed up [pointing to woman] and that guy with the hat showed up— they’re from Australia. So he went to the platform and started playing and said, ‘Let’s get in here together.’ He invited the two Australians to play with him. So he was telling them what to do, what notes to hit. This guy right here [pointing to nearby man] stood on the sidelines, he was just watching. So I said, ‘Why don’t you come over and play with them?’ So I got him up there and he started to play…they just met over music.
A lot of the former addicts who used to hang out here come back. They tell me how it used to be. It seems like it’s almost every day that one comes by and tells me ‘I used to hang out here. I used to use here.’ But you can see that they’ve changed their lives and they’re working.
…they are proud that they were able to recover and get out of here. Strength. Strong. There’s no pity. No guilt, no shame.”
“If I hit the lotto, I would still want to do this. Because it does something for me on the inside.”