Spring brings out robins, crocuses, and the homeless. On a May afternoon I was sitting on the bank of the Charles River in Boston, angling for the first tentative pleasures of sun and birds, when I noticed a large man lugging a plastic bag amid the reeds.
Even before I recognized the face and the balding head of curly hair from the shelter where I’d worked all winter, his walk—heavy, meandering, head bent—labeled him homeless. I went over to greet him, and asked where he was staying now that the shelter was closed.
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