A recent article ("528 homeless people live on Philadelphia's streets, survey shows," May 21) highlighted that out of the 528 people living on the streets, 85 percent are addicts or mentally ill and 268 are "vulnerable."
As one of the 250 volunteers "who combed the city streets . . . from 4 to 6 a.m., compiling a name and photo database," I can say that all of the people I met were vulnerable.
"Henry" was sleeping in a wheelchair under a bus stop near University City. A heroin addict, Henry lost all the toes on his right foot to frostbite last winter. We found "Sonya" groaning and prostrate close to a Wawa, and we didn't leave her until help arrived. "Alison" was standing alone in a vacant lot in the rain. A 45-year-old white woman shaking from alcohol withdrawal, she graduated from a Catholic high school. When she spoke, she looked through us with the most amazingly beautiful blue eyes.
Alison and the others remind me that, at our core, we share our humanity with those most "vulnerable" on the streets.