He was standing in the shadows of a large canopy at a homeless campsite located near downtown Nashville when I asked him, “Are you homeless?” His clothes were nice and neat and ball cap looked brand new. His shoes were even clean. He told me, “Yes, I live here. I was born in Forest City, Arkansas and came to Nashville to be a musician.” In case you are curious, he raps. “What’s your name,” I asked? He then told me that people call him, “Thin One.”
I later learned that a nonprofit group known as “615” recently put fresh mulch down throughout the camping area and the trail leading to the tents. The mulch made all the difference in the world. It was as if the mulch gave them just enough of a boost to make them want to keep their area nice and neat.
Normally, those who leave campsites after a heavy rain are covered in mud from their toes to their knees, but not these campers. They were all clean, which helped to boost their self-esteem. In other words, being clean helps them to feel like they fit in with everyone else in the world.
The small things are huge.