Posts Tagged ‘homeless’

In Over Three Years

// August 26th, 2010 // No Comments » // HIV and AIDS, Homeless Outreach

It’s been 3 and half years since I created Do Something Saturday and over a year since I created Unpluggin’ HIV. I created both outreaches while I was homeless. I’ve lost count of how many homeless people I have spoken to, how many I have helped and how many outreaches I’ve done.  I’ve lost count of how many meals, pairs of socks, hygiene kits, granola bars and I’ve even lost count of how much time I’ve spent doing all I can to try to make things better for those I encounter.

If someone told me that I would be typing a blog such as this, or that I would be doing the work I’ve created and doing it for free, I would have said “not me” This is not to imply that I was once a selfish or uncaring person, but I cared far more for myself then anything else. It was all about me and anything else was second.

I will say that I’ve always had this desire to help people, this want to make things better and for as long as I can recall I’ve always wanted to some how, in some way make a difference. At a very early age I learned that money does not equal happy and it does not equal good. I learned at an early age that strength of character means far more and will carry me a whole hell of a lot further in life then a fat bank account or a fancy car could ever do. I learned that hard work and determination are required far more then having money. I’m glad I learned these lessons early in life, because without them I would have believed all the lies I was told about how I could not make a difference or that being homeless and now poor would prevent me from helping or doing anything that is worth anything.

What I have learned since creating my organization is that many people believe that unless I am a non-profit, work in a fancy building, wear a fancy suit, drive a fancy car that I am unable to help people. I’ve met people who say they will help with an outreach or with supplies for hygiene kits but in the end they are no different then the first group of people. In many way they are far worse and I must say that I have far less respect for. It least the first group says flat out “NO”  They dont comment on my blogs or vlogs about things they will do only to do nothing in the end. They say “NO” right up front, while the other simply lie.

What I have learned from corporations is that nothing comes before profit. I remember as a kid how you could write to a company and they would at least consider your request for help, but those days are long gone and have been replaced with companies setting up their own way of giving back that better suits and protects their bottom line. Many companies only use certain organizations and will not even consider others.  Such organization then become clearing houses and again will only deal with certain organizations. Now I am not pointing the finger and trying to say that this is all bad, I am sure there are great things that come from much of this new way of helping. All I am saying is that it is very limited and very selective or what I would call “inside the box” way of thinking and helping.

So the lessons I learned as a kid about hard work and determination play key roles in every single thing I do. Without these lessons I would have given up a very long time ago. Instead they have taught me to work harder and find new ways of helping people. What I have tried so hard to do since the start.

I really like how President Obama has sparked a new wave of getting people involved in helping each other, but I dont like how it limits how people like me can be involved. I dont like how the thinking behind it is still the old way of doing things, very much the “inside the box thinking” I dont like how it encourages people to go through large organizations as if to say individuals or small grass roots organizations can’t make a difference.

Anyone can make a difference, anyone can create positive CHANGE on this planet. You dont have to have lots of money, you dont have to have non-profit after your name, you dont need to go through so large organization plagued by red tape and bureaucracy. You can make a difference in small ways even large ways by doing it with a group of friends. All it takes is a desire to want to be part of something that is good, be willing to work hard, think outside the book and think about others before thinking of yourself.

As for me, I will not allow the “NO” from companies stop me from helping people and I will not allow the lip service from people who comment on my blogs and vlogs prevent me from doing all I can to help people who are homeless or battling HIV and AIDS.

In over three years I have met some awesome people who truly care about humanity, who are truly willing to roll up their sleeves and do the hard work required to make this nation great again and a better place for all of us. In over three years I have learned that bigger isn’t always better, larger doesn’t mean you can do more and having money and a non-profit status does not mean you are better suited to help anyone.

Inspired By My Peers

// August 7th, 2010 // 1 Comment » // HIV and AIDS, Homeless Outreach

Clothes 004There’s this gospel song that I really like to listen to called “Again” and the words are very simple

Again I call you and again you answer,

Again, I need you and again you’re there

Lord

Again, I reach out and again you hold me

You console me once more and again……..

About a week ago I was starting to get a bit discouraged and was really starting to hit a wall. I was approaching August and my drive to raise supplies for the Do Something and Life Kits wasn’t going so well. I had received nearly all the letter that I had mailed out asking for donations of tooth brushes, mouth wash, body wash and other items and all of them came back as “NO” I was also seeing that some people who said they would help were simply placing meaningless comments on my vlogs on my YOUTUBE Channel. It was looking like what I had set out to do was going to fail and I was not feeling happy about this at all.

However I did now my core group of supporters would come through, they always do without fail, but even with this help I would still fall far short of the goal to raise enough supplies to make 600 kits total. I knew my core group of supporter, which also happen to be my friends would do all they could to help me reach my goal and for this effort I am so happy and thankful.

I was watching to news and seeing reports of how homeless people are treated and also saw an article in the Los AnglesClothes 003 Times about homeless people that were very disappointing to me. I’ve always had the mindset that helping people requires care and it always requires you to actually speak to and take into consideration what they person you are trying to help needs. There is simply no way of helping someone, when we refuse to speak directly with the person or persons who are trying to help. If my Nana was still alive, she would say “That’s like going fishing in the middle of street. All that will happen is you getting your silly ass run over. It would serve you right for being so damn dumb”

I started Do Something Saturday over three years ago after a access center in Venice refused to allow me to give my shower time to a woman and her kids. For those of you who dont know what an access center is, it is a place where homeless people are supposed to go to get help. But it was my experience that places like access centers are more trouble and heartache then they are any help. Do Something Saturday was started by trying to address the many problems I was having like clean clothes, new socks, food that wasn’t spoiled, respect and dignity, but I wasn’t trying to get this for myself, I wanted it for other homeless people. I guess what I am saying is that I’ve always spoken with and asked other homeless people what they needed and then did my best to try to get it for them.

Clothes 009Simply taking someone off the streets and placing them into housing does not and will not ever correct the out of control homeless situation here in our nation. There are many reason why a person becomes homeless and until we address each and every issue person by person, case by case and not by the cookie cutter, you must fit the mold way of doing things, then there will always be a massive problem with homelessness in this country. Pretty words on fancy paper or a flashy website wont work and neither will beating people with scripture and thus says the Lord will work either.

It is my opinion that no one really wants to do the hard work…..well I’ll take that back, there a few people and places willing to do the hard work to actually make steps towards ending homelessness for the people of this nation.  Case managers who look down upon people and do not, will not and can not grasp basic human compassion will only fail. Furthermore just because someone was once an addict or once homeless does not give them the green light to being a case manager or in charge of anyone other then themselves.

Many people have called what I do as being a “case manager” or “peer support” you can give it whatever fancy title youClothes 001 want, but all it really is, all it really requires is CARE, COMPASSION and a HEART. This isn’t some new approach to doing things, it is simply CARING or to make it plain like my Nana would if she were alive “It’s called giving damn” Some people will never understand what CARING means because they can’t stop to think about anything other then themselves. We live in a world of “get all you can, can all you get and then sit on the pot and poison the rest” CARE has been replaced with “what will I get out of this?” Many people talk about caring and loving humanity, but they truly have no concept of what caring and love truly means or what they truly require.

In every outreach I plan, no matter how large or how small, I always speak directly to the person or people I am trying to help. I need to know that they need, what they require from me and from them I require nothing. Everything I plan I ask myself “how will this help?”

So I was discouraged and I asked God for some inspiration and encouragement. I was very specific in my request saying “I need this now God, not later….right now.”

The next day after coming in from a walk with Dodger I opened the mail box and there was an envelope inside and when I opened it there was $10 from one of my friends from YOUTUBE, she sent the money to help buy water for my outreaches to homeless people. I smiled and said “Thank you” Two days later I got a paypal donation from another friend to help with the supplies for the Do Something and Life Kits and again I said “Thank you” less then 3 hours later I got another donation through paypal and this one made me fall to my knees and not just say “Thank you” but to really give praise and honor to a God will still answers prayers, who always shows up right on time.

Clothes 005Wednesday I woke up, made some coffee and starting working on a letter for my quilting project that I’ve started for people with HIV and AIDS here in the United States, I got a call from my friend KoKo (Rene) who is now working in the head offices for the company where my Skid Row outreach takes place. I am so happy she is now working there, I am sure she will do an outstanding job. I guess I should back track and say that when she told me she got the job there, she too was part of my answered prayer, but God wans’t done just yet.

While speaking with her there was a knock at my door, when I answered it was the postman with a large box. I knew it was from my friend Jen, another person from YOUTUBE who wanted to help. She sent a box of clothes. “Kengi it isn’t much, but I want to help…..” is what she said in the email to me a week prior, but when I say how big the box was and then opened the box to find that many of the items were brand new, with tags still on them and the used clothes were in such great condition, again I had to say “Thank You.”

“When do you think you will be back down on Skid Row, I’d like to see what you do?” KoKo asked me

“Well now that I have this donation I will schedule something for this week. How bout Friday at 1:00pm?”

She told me she needed to check with her boss and would let me know. When we hung up I emailed the case managerClothes 006and asked for the sizes of the women in her building. If they couldn’t wear the clothes, then I would take them to Common Ground in Santa Monica which is the only comprehensive HIV care facility on the west side, which also has clients who happen to be homeless.

I received an email back right away and the clothes would go to my Skid Row outreach. I was very happy about this, because when I get clothes for women they have been smaller sizes and I’ve only been able to help one lady in the building.  Now to be able to help the other women was awesome.

I had a very close encounter at the front door of the building which reminded me of how very important it is to always be aware of my surroundings, not to carry money on me and to take off my ipod when I walk toward the building. It also reminded me not to look like someone who is going to allow BS from someone. The past few times I’ve been to the building there is no one of the office so I have to call for one of the residents to come open the door. This time there was someone in the office, but was very slow to open it which could have been bad for me because the person who had passed me on the street walking toward the building was now walking behind me. When I buzzed I sat the bag down near the door and turned towards him. He asked me for 25 cents to catch the bus, I told him I had no money on me, but he was not about to take this for an answer.

“What’s in the bags then my nigga?”

Clothes 007I looked him dead in the eye and said firmly “None of your business. I said I don’t have 25 cents to give you now I suggest you move on” The entire time I was buzzing the ringer and finally was buzzed in. I didn’t bend down to pick up the bags of clothes until the gentleman had started walking away.

“Thank you” is what I said when I walking up the stairs and I heard “you’re welcome” from the lady in the office. I laughed to myself because I was not saying this to her, but to God for placing a hedge of protection around me. Something I had prayed for prior to leaving my apartment in Hollywood.

While I wasn’t able to give the clothes to the women, I was however able to meet my friend KoKo and I then had the honor of going to the head offices of the corporation and right away I was impressed. I was later blown completely of out the water by the staff I had the chance to speak with, but what clearly stood out for me was the conversation I had with the Executive Director. His passion and great CARE for what he does was very apparent to me. He was interested in the programs I bring and wanted to hear what I have to say.

I had the chance to talk with my friend and hear and read some of the awesome things this corporation is doing for people who are homeless and even people battling HIV and AIDS, How CARE and COMPASSION is at the front of what they do and even as I know there is much work to be done, I was so encouraged to know that the leader of this corporation was nothing like any other leader on Skid Row. I can honestly say without a doubt that this man truly cares about the work he does and wants the people who work with him to have the same care.

When I got home and was relaxing on the sofa. I called my friend Donald from the building on Skid Row to see how hisClothes 010 day was, he had to attend a funeral of a friend of his an I wanted to make sure he made it home ok. After speaking with Donald I got a call from another resident who said “I just want to thank you for all that you do for us. We really appreciate all that you do.”

When I hung up the phone I again said “Thank you” and before I knew it tears were falling down my face and I was crying. I was thinking about what I had asked from God and he supplied that and so much more. I was so encouraged by what I had just saw, read and encountered that I had no choice but to break down and cry.

I know first hand what it is like to have friends and even family walk away, I know what it is like to have people attack my character and say things that are not true, I know what it is like to eat from trash cans and have to fight for my things. I know what it is like to be called “stupid” or be told that my “Thinking is backwards” and later have my housing blocked by someone who is a “director” at at another large homeless agency on Skid Row. I will never forget how he treated me like I was less then the gum he stepped on when he entered his high rise office  with pictures of him shaking hands with fancy people and sitting across from me acting like he was some how better then me because I was homeless and HIV positive. “Your thoughts don’t matter” is what he said to me. People think I cried because he defeated me or that he had broke me and I sure he felt like “I fixed his wagon” but the tears were for people who would walk out and give up on life ultimately becoming the people we see pushing shopping carts, talking to the make believe person that no one else can see but them. He words were hateful and filled with hatred toward people like me, but he sits in the position over people he cant even stand.

Clothes 008I cried because God has just showed me that his angels sit in higher places and do far greater things for humanity. I cried because my day was spent being encouraged to keep doing the work that I have been given to do and I could rest in knowing that the place where my friend now works is filled with people who truly care, not only that it is lead by a man who truly cares for homeless people and people battling HIV and AIDS someone who knows people deserve to be treated with dignity and respect at all times, no matter who they are or where the live.

People often ask where I get my energy, my passion, my drive, my inspiration?. They also ask how can you find the desire to help, when you are still going through so much? The answer is always the same. “It comes from God, he always sends someone or something and he has never failed me and he never will. There are times when I will be down, but not out, shattered, but not broken, wounded, but in time I will heal and there will be times I will have to struggle, but I will find my way through.”

THANK YOU for inspiring me, for encouraging me and for the awesome work you do for broke down people like me.

Again I call you and again you answer

Again I need you and again you’re there

Again I reach out and again you hold me

Yon console me once more and againquilt 011

73 Thousand Each Night

// August 1st, 2010 // 1 Comment » // HIV and AIDS, Homeless Outreach

beach 011I know, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted a blog, but I hurt my wrist from not sitting at the correct level at the computer and then for the past 5 days my Sickle Cell has really been bothering me.

As many of you know August is the month that I have picked to do my large Do Something Saturday and Unpluggin’ HIV outreaches. The goal was to have enough supplies to make at least 600 Do Something and Life Kits for people who are homeless and for people battling HIV and AIDS here in Los Angeles.

This is a very huge undertaking for me and I knew from the time I started that I may not reach my goal, but I was still willing to do all I could to at least try. I started by asking all my friends and supporters if they would help out, I also mail over 100 letters to hotels and large companies. In addition I also made a few videos on my YOUTUBE channel and yes, I even blogged it as well.

Like always, right away I had an overwhelming amount of people make comments on my video saying they would help,beach 017 but just like I knew would happen, more the 95% of the people who made comments were simply making comments. They never stepped forward to help. However there were those who kept their would and I was able to supplies for this outreach. I have received 92 of the 100 requests for support back and all of them said “We are unable to help at this time.” Many of the reasons given were, “we support the united way, blue cross” and other organizations.

However with the help of my friends and loyal supporters I have been able to get enough supplies to make at least 50 kits, now this is far short of the goal of 600, but today is only August 1, 2010 and I still have the rest of this month to raise more supplies for the outreach. While I don’t like to fail at anything I set out to do, it is clear that I may have a accept a small defeat this time around.

beach 027People have asked me why I care so much and why I spend so much time trying to do whatever I can to help people and the answer is always very simple to me, but to be very honest I never get why people ask me this in the first place, just like I never get why people tell me to get some rest or you can’t help everyone. Well I could help more if people like this would be of their word and follow through. I do it because it is the right thing to do and I was once and in many ways still very much am, one of those people who are in need of help.

It is estimated that there are about 73 thousand people who are homeless here in Los Angeles County each night. I was once one of those people and had it not been for people like Tina and Andy, who started reading my blog and then began to care, people like Ryan and Monia, who also found me through my blog, Eric and Willow who I met through Ryan and Moina and Krystal and Patrick who I met through a former friend and for some pretty cool people who read my blog and watch my YOUTUBE videos I have been able to do what so many said I could never do. What some said would not last simply because I was homeless, or they had made up in their mind that was not worth damn, has now lasted more then 3 years and is getting stronger with each outreach.

These people believed in me and what I am doing when others simply laughed tried to get me to stop doing it. TheyHomeless 004show up, help out and support my efforts each and every time I ask and for this I am so happy and thankful. Through them many of their friends and families have also started helping when they can and the end result has been awesome.

People always asked me where I get my energy, drive and motivation to keep moving forward with my work, especially when they realize that I am not paid for what I do. Again the answer is very simple, I was once on the streets, I know what it is like to wear the same socks for weeks at a time, I know what it is like not to have a place to take a shower, get a decent meal or even have a kind word. I try very hard to take the hardships in my own life and try to create something awesome out of it.

More the 90% of the people in my life are a huge inspiration, motivation and give me the energy and courage to do what I do. This combined with the awesome “home training” I was raised with and my unshakable FAITH, makes what I do so much fun. However it is hard work and there have been many tears along the way, but in the end it has all been well worth it. The other 10% comes from people who simply talk, say what they will do and then do nothing, more then anything else these people remind of places that I turned to for help when I was on the streets, they never came through, but motivated me to all I could to make things happen for myself and others.

Homeless 007So it’s August 1, 2010 and for the rest of the month I will work as hard as I can to get enough supplies to make 600 Do Something and Life Kits to GIVE to people who are homeless and to people battling HIV and AIDS here in Los Angeles. My Nana use to always say “If I can’t do it, then Skippy is a damn liar”

I have to say that my biggest motivation is what I see by simply looking out my window, riding the bus or walking. You can’t live here in Los Angeles and not see a homeless people. I can either ignore them or act like there is nothing I can do to try to help, I can even make up plenty of excuses as to why I should not help, but the bottom line is that by doing this I am part of the problem and I would much rather be part of the solution.

In close I would be remiss if I do not mention another motivation and huge inspiration that comes from every day people who email me, text me or call me and say, “I have some awesome clothes to donate” or “I want to buy some gift cards” People who think with their hearts not wanting anything in return.

Helping Others Through Food

// June 5th, 2010 // No Comments » // Cooking, HIV and AIDS, Homeless Outreach, Me Time

Chillin and Doing Something 008It’s been a great relaxing, but very busy past two days for me, I know I haven’t blogged about it, but there was a death in our family and I have been busy babysitting my great nieces and nephew for the past two days so my niece and her husband were able to attend the funeral and the kids could keep their schedules with school.

Thursday was pretty busy with outreaches down to Skid Row for Unpluggin’ HIV and picking up and dropping off the kids, going to the park, beach and cooking for them as well. Our day finally can to an end at 8:40PM. The kids took their baths and then played for a while before heading to bed, while I chatted with my friends on FACEBOOK as well as laughing my ass off with my friend Leah.

I must say I have really missed sleeping in my own bed. I am laughing while IChillin and Doing Something 006am saying this cause it just feels so funny to say. For the past two nights I have slept on the futon in my great nephews room and man has that been very uncomfortable. I even think it was bad for Dodger too because at one point her really started to throw a fit. I think I was able to get better sleep last night because I was so tired from all the running around we did, but it was still not a good nights sleep.

As I said in my blog earlier this week, my friend Jacque from Texas sent some amazing clothes that were her sons to help support my efforts to provide clothes for people in need. I used the clothes to support my Unpluggin HIV outreach down on Skid Row for people battling HIV or AIDS. With this donation I was able to give clothes to people who I have not been able to help very much because of the sizes I get most times are very small. Not that these two men are fat or anything like this, but one is tall and thick and the other is medium height and thick as well. I was also able to give clothes to other residents as well. In fact, Michael, the resident who I just interviewed for my Conversations with Kengi was able to get the smaller clothes. This was so awesome because he is in school, doing a great job I might add, and is in need of some help.

From Texas 001Jacque, I cant thank you enough for sending these awesome clothes which allowed me to help some pretty awesome people who are battling HIV as well as people I consider my friends and care for a great deal. I know there are plenty of places you could have sent these clothes and I am so humbled and thankful that you selected what I am trying to do. The guys were very thankful and I know if they could do it in person they would, but since they cant I will do it for them. THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

So, it’s Friday and right now I am typing the first part of this blog before I takeFrom Texas 010 off for a interview with a director for a film project he is working on. Some of the things they are looking for are people who use social networking and bloggers. Now even though I am a huge user of social networks and I blog all the time, this does not assure me a place in this project, but I am sure it gives me a good shot. Plus my friend Alison who is friends with the director told me about it. I also vlog, so that my be a good thing as well. How very cool would it be to get a spot in a film project?

I also had the chance to help out my friend Franklin who is also HIV positive, but is in desperate need of some dental services. He has braces that are falling apart in his mouth and does not have the money to pay to have them removed. He has tried going to dental clinics, but has had no luck getting them removed. So I made some calls for him to see if people I know would be able to help him. It took about three days but two people got back with me and I was able to pass Franklin a list of over 40 places for him to call to see if they can help him with his dental. I have learned from hanging out and talking with Franklin that I cant do too much for him, because he has a tendency to not do anything. By giving him the list to make the calls himself, this will empower him to make the effort to help himself. I am very hopeful that he will follow through on this. I will keep you posted on how things turn out for him.

2:20pm, Saturday

Chillin and Doing Something 043The rest of my Friday with the kids was really cool. Since they always have questions about what I do I thought it would be cool to simply show them. Their parents are really good at making sure they know about many social issues and homelessness is one of them. So I took them with me to shop for items for two different outreaches. One that will take place in August to help homeless people as well as people battling HIV and AIDS. The goal is to get enough supplies to make 600 hygiene kits. I call them Do Something or Life Kits. There will be 300 Do Something and 300 Life Kits.

For those of you who are new to my blog, let me just tell you that a Do Something or Life Kits are made up of travel size hygiene items that are packed in gallon size ziplock bags that are provided to people who are homeless or battling HIV or AIDS free of charge. I created the Do Something Kit when I was homeless. After I was diagnosed HIV positive, still homeless, I then decided to create the Life Kits for people battling HIV or AIDS, who also might be homeless.

The past week I got donations from people on my youtube channel to help meChillin and Doing Something 001 get supplies for the outreach in August. I wanna extend a huge “THANK YOU” to them for helping me with this effort. Because of their donations I was able to purchase 104 bottles of water and 80 Rice Crispy Treats for the outreach in August.

In addition to getting some supplies I need for August I was also able to do a feeding thank to the support for my friends Lee and Philip who have been helping me feed homeless people. Since we had plans to head down to the beach, I thought it would be awesome to stop by Chess Park and feed my homeless friends there. I mentioned this to the kids and they too thought this would be cool. Farah, then suggested that we make a video about our day as well. Since I am taking a break from putting videos up on youtube I told them that we could simply take pictures. This is when she said, “we can do the video and you can film us.” I said ok, so the video is uploading to my Cooking with Kengi channel.

Chillin and Doing Something 002Before leaving for the store we talked about what we wanted to do. I really wanted them to take charge of this outreach so I told them some things about the people they would meet. After talking about them for a bit I asked them what did they think we should make for them to eat. They suggested turkey sandwiches, with macaroni salad and glazed doughnuts. When I asked them why doughnuts, they said “they need something sweet to cheer them up.”

I knew we would arrive at the beach after 2:00PM and this meant that not many of the guys would still be around. I never want to make too much for fear it would go to waste. I would rather run out then to have far too many. So we made 9 lunches and headed to pick up their little sister from daycare and then down to the beach.

The kids were really excited to do this and all along the way to the beach theyChillin and Doing Something 042asked questions about my friends and how I knew them. We talked about how I knew them and once we parked at the beach Farah came over to me and said “Uncle Louis, if you dont have a place to stay again, I will let you sleep in my room ok? I dont want my uncle homeless again.” I smiled at her, gave her a kiss and said “ok sweetie. Thank you.”

We took the lunches and headed into Chess Park and right away we found David. David was the very first homeless person I met when I was homeless and he showed me how to stay warm at night by stuffing newspaper in my clothes to stay warm. He also gave me warnings as to which places I should avoid sleeping. He also told me who to avoid.

Chillin and Doing Something 052As always David had a huge smile when he saw me and right away jumped into one of his stories about teaching kids to play chess. The kids thought he was so cool and very nice. He even offered to teach them how to play chess. Maybe one day soon I will be able to take them back there and David can spend some time teaching them how to play.

Just like I thought, many of the homeless people were already gone. We made just the right amount. I talked with David for a while and then I headed over the sand with the kids to play on the swings for a bit. When it was time to go they said how much fun they had and asked if they could help me feed homeless people again. I told them yes.

By this time we were all tired and hungry, so we headed back to my place. AlongChillin and Doing Something 051 they way they asked if we could have ribs for dinner and I told them that the BBQ place was way on the other side of town. This is when they said “we want your BBQ” I laughed, said “ok” and we headed to the store.

Our dinner was BBQ ribs, corn on the cob and the last of the macaroni salad. We had ice cream bars for a snack. They watched TV and played while I cleaned the kitchen and talked to Dodger who was sitting next to my feet as I washed the dishes. Their parents arrived around 11:40PM. WOW, this was a long two days with them and I was so ready for them to leave so my life could slow down again. I really love spending time with the kids. It’s really funny cause as my niece was walking out the door she turned and gave me a hug and said “I love you uncle Lou, thanks so much for watching the kids.” We both laughed and then she said “Do you remember when you use to pick me up when I was a kid?” I smiled and said “yes and your kids are no different then you and your cousins were back then.”

Chillin and Doing Something 062Dodger and I walked her down and said goodbye to her, the kids and her husband. He even calls me “uncle Louis.”

Once back in the apartment Dodger let out two barks as if to say “we got our place back to ourselves” ran over to his toy duck and began to shake the shit out of it. He retired to the back of the sofa and looked out the window until he fell asleep. I took a hot bath, chatted and then called Leah, had some awesome laughs and went to bed.

I had a great two days with my family and I was able to help people who areChillin and Doing Something 065homeless as well as battling HIV and AIDS with the help of my awesome friends. What better way to start my weekend, then with family and friends, doing our parts to help those who are in need.

It’s been a very lazy Saturday for Dodger and I and we are loving every single minute of it.

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