Sometimes it really difficult to get out of bed to run when it's cold, but what about when it's hot?
The good thing about running in the cold is that you can run longer with less effort. Some people really enjoy running in the heat.
Most people are naturally concerned during the cold and rush to shelters to provide clothing and blankets. But the need during the summer heat is great as well, particularly on Skid Row.
Although summer has just gotten started Los Angeles has already broken heat records. During our runs in Skid Row, we've noticed even more people and more tents as people are looking for relief from the heat.
Recently I came across a great article in the LA Times about one person trying to do something to help those suffering in the heat.
That article besides detailing the heroic efforts of one person to help provide water to those in need, also mentioned the community reaction to this person's efforts. Some people praised it, others jeered it.
It's a tricky issue: Do you give handouts to people in need? What difference does it make? Aren't we just enabling 'those' people?
In my experience, most homeless people don't initially choose to be homeless or addicts. Certain life circumstances caused them to fall into homelessness and addiction and the subsequent loss of self-esteem keeps them there.
Does the Skid Row Running Club have solutions? We don't pretend to have them, but one thing we know that makes a difference: When you case and recognize another person's humanity, that is a big first step to helping them lift themselves out of the cycle that got them into homeless and addiction in the first place.