I met Vincent as he was picking through the used clothing that Pastor Jack had just piled on a table. I had seen four strong men lift his wheel chair up the steps and into the church just a few minutes earlier. He was a big man with a patch over his right eye, and a friendly smile. He had a little license plate on the side of his chair the proclaimed his first name. He was missing part of his left leg. I asked him if he was a veteran and nodded yes. I guessed “Were you in Iraq?” and he answered, “No, Granada…” Then he added that he wasn’t injured there, “even though the bullets were flying.” We small talked a while and he indicated that he didn’t mind me taking his picture as he held up a pair of pants that might fit. He was clearly more interested in the clothing than me.
I have been thinking about Vincent, and the trials he faces every day as a homeless man with a disability. Setting aside the access issues that all people in wheel chairs endure daily, being on the street, finding shelter, food, clothing, warmth, even a bathroom, all must challenge him. Yet here he was in front of my camera, with a little smile on his face. I hope the pants fit, Vincent.