The biannual survey of homeless individuals in Northwest Louisiana doesn't sound like an exciting story, but it's one of the most interesting ones I get to write. The outreach workers truly exemplify what it means to recognize every person's dignity. And the homeless folks are some of the most resourceful people you will ever meet, despite their addictions and issues.
We could all probably learn something from Danny Hopkins, a man who lives in a camp off of Jewella Avenue. He is content with what he has, asking little of the system. His only income comes from the aluminum cans he collects. When he meets other homeless individuals, he shares what he has. He lives near a store and often walks the carts left in the parking lot back to the front. The employees have offered to pay him something for the service, but he declines, instead considering it a neighborly thing to do. His ready smile has made him friends who look after him.
"One of the reasons I'm blessed is because I give freely from the heart," he said.
Times photo by Mike Silva