but this is a small town.

This weekend I truly took in some West Virginia culture.  All weekend long, a free festival took place downtown and I had the opportunity to spend much of my time strolling the streets of the city.  There were antique vendors and basket weavers, soap makers and glass blowers, and even an entire tent devoted to “The Best of West Virignia!”, Tamarack. Walking down the streets there were performers and food stands everywhere.  Despite it being the state capitol, I have found that Charleston is actually a very small city.  With only 50,000 friendly people, sooner than later you start seeing people you’ve seen before.

                And it is here that things get interesting.  Having only been here for 3 weeks, I have realized that I am no longer anonymous within downtown Charleston.  As one might expect, many of the people we serve wander the streets and parks finding refuge in the public library and mall during much of the day.  During the brief time I have been here, I have seen clients when I drive to work or when I have taken runs along the river, but this weekend, I knew someone on every block.  It was the weirdest thing to see so many familiar faces and have people calling me by name or asking me about things at the Covenant House as I strolled down Capitol Street.  I didn’t think one could be so well recognized within such a short period of time, but obviously I thought wrong.   Along the same line, at church on Sunday I turned to my side only to find a lady whom frequents the Drop-In Center to be sitting one pew over.  It was both exciting and frightening how many faces I know in such a short period of time.  I’ve come to see that while there is a plethora of people needing financial assistance for various things, the homeless community is not exceedingly large, and I have already become a familiar face.