This is my third letter to U.S. Postmaster General Megan Brennan. I also wrote to her on Day 51 and Day 135. For an organization whose passion is mail – I can’t say that I’m impressed with their ability to respond to mail sent to them. I never received any responses from my two previous letters and I probably wont receive one to this one either – and frankly I don’t care. I’d just be happy if she or someone on her team responds to Gary Minter.
Gary is the man who I wrote to on Day 260. I was touched by his open letter to the USPS that was published in Street Sense about the challenges he faces due to his housing status. It’s my hope that Gary gets a thoughtful responses from someone at the Post Office.
Postmaster General Brennan,
Enclosed you will find an open letter that was published in Street Sense from a friend of mine experiencing homelessness. I don’t think Gary was able to send this letter directly to you but I trust that you will share it with the appropriate person on your staff who can reply. I can attest that these and similar challenges are things that those experiencing homelessness deal with every day.
Thank you for your attention to this matter,
In a recent issue of Street Sense, I came across an open letter to the U.S. Post Office from a man named Gary Minter. He’s struggled with housing and doesn’t have a permanent address. Even using shelters and other agencies to receive mail for him causes challenges. Gary decided to write the post office and ask for their help to fix problems that anyone dealing with homelessness faces.
He has a “general delivery” address in Las Vegas where he is living right now – he used to be here in Washington, DC. I hope my letter gets to him.
I read your open letter in Street Sense about the unique challenges that you and other men and women experiencing homelessness face. In essence you are being discriminated against because you don’t have a permanent address.
I’m sure a solution to these issues exists, but will take time. Thank you for speaking out and trying to improve the system. Your letter has inspired me to cut your letter out of the paper and mail it to Megan Brennan, the Postmaster General.
I hope that Las Vegas is treating you well.
Good luck to you,
P.S. Here are a few dollars – hopefully it helps.
Many of you know about my friend Anthony whose hard work and determination got him into housing after 20 years on the streets. Last night we celebrated two years of housing with about 40 friends at Rumors Bar and Restaurant in DC.
Two of the guests were from a doctor’s office across the street that has been so kind to Anthony. The doctor, who I’ve seen for years, agreed to treat Anthony for free. Him and the entire staff are wonderful. Lynn and Bianca came stopped by the party to support Anthony – they were awesome!
Dear Lynn and Bianca,
Your joining us at Anthony’s 2 yr Anniversary celebration moved me. I’ve always been inspired by the power of community and the fact that you took the time out of your day to come and celebrate with Anthony meant a tremendous amount to him – and to me. We are all part of each other’s community – and by coming together we strengthen our social fabric.
I’m sorry we didn’t get to talk more – I hope you enjoyed yourselves,
Posted in Thank-yous
Tagged Anthony, celebrations, doctors, embossed, handwritten letters, homelessness, housing, letter-writing, Paper Source, party, poverty, Year of Letters
Richard Schiff as Toby Ziegler on ‘The West Wing. Photo: NYDailyNews.com
As I mentioned earlier this week, I got a letter in my mailbox addressed to an actor from The West Wing. I know the suspense has been killing you – so today we’ll have the big reveal. The letter was addressed to Richard Schiff who played the rather morose White House communications director Toby Ziegler.
I have no idea how common of a name Richard Schiff is. But I do know that Schiff was born just 5 miles up the road in Bethesda, MD so it wouldn’t be unreasonable to think that this is in fact the actor.
After making note of his address, I handed the letter back to the postal worker, letting her know that it had been put in my mailbox by mistake.
One thing I’m curious about. If I take this letter into the post office, do I need to put a stamp on it? They’re just going to walk 10 feet and put it in Richard’s PO Box. I guess I will find out later today.
Toby was my favorite character on the West Wing so I’m really hoping I’ve got the right Richard Schiff!
I received a letter addressed to you in my mailbox recently. I couldn’t help but notice your name and wonder if you were the actor Richard Schiff – for the purposes of my letter, I will assume that you are.
Your portrayal of Toby Ziegler was nothing less than outstanding. One of my favorite episodes was the one where they find your business card in the jacket of the homeless veteran who died. I do a lot of volunteer work with the homeless and that storyline touched close to home. I understand you won an Emmy for that performance – congratulations, you deserve it!
I’d love to know what you’re up to these days. We should meet up sometime in the neighborhood for a drink – after all we’re neighbors. Maybe go to McClellan’s Retreat or Glen’s Garden Market? Both are good spots, but I picture you more at the dimly lit McClellan’s Retreat enjoying a boozy cocktail like an old fashioned or something along those lines.
Anyway, I look forward to hearing from you,
P.S. If this is not the actor Richard Schiff – we can still meet for a drink and you can tell me all about what it’s like having people confuse you with the actor.
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged Aaron Sorkin, actor, embossed, handwriting, handwritten, handwritten letters, homelessness, letter-writing, PO Box, Richard Schiff, stationery, The West Wing, Toby Ziegler, US Mail, Year of Letters
Yesterday I saw an ESPN video that featured Will Hayes and Chris Long, two players on the St. Louis Rams football team. They spent the night out on the streets of St. Louis to learn what it was like to be homeless for a night. Check out the video.
Homelessness is something that is close to my heart so I dropped them a note. Speaking of homelessness, those of you in DC should join me tomorrow night, June 2nd, for the Street Sense Awards night where journalists are recognized for the best stories covering homelessness from the past year.
Will and Chris,
I saw the ESPN video where you spent a night on the streets of St. Louis. I’ve been on the board of directors of a local homeless organization here in our nation’s capital for the past three years. Street Sense gives men and women experiencing homelessness economic opportunities.
I see that you’ll be here in DC to play Washington on Sept. 20, 2015. It’d be a pleasure to meet you both or introduce you to some of the homeless here if you were able to stay an extra day. It would make an inspiring story – spreading your work and awareness to other cities you visit this year. Maybe we could get a few players from Washington to join.
It would be great to hear from you regardless. I applaud you both for your willingness to see the people you met for more than just their current status of their housing. Your story inspired me, and many others, and I thank you for sharing your experience.
All the best (except against the Steelers),
UPDATE June 1, 2015
St. Louis Rams Defensive End Chris Long got in touch with me yesterday via Twitter. Very cool!
Posted in Just because, Uncategorized
Tagged building communities, charity, Chris Long, community outreach, football players, handwritten letters, homelessness, housing, NFL, philanthropy, poverty, St. Louis Rams, William Hayes, Year of Letters