Grace McKinnon has a moving story. A social worker. Once homeless. Once suicidal — and lost her own to suicide. Now, she’s added a chapter to another life almost cut short — but grace. By Grace, #Anthony, a homeless man, is alive. Her work continues even when she isn’t on the clock — grace isn’t time-limited.
It’s a local story that usually wouldn’t get national attention unless a shot was fired. A Black homeless man, named Anthony, was clearly in distress. A Capitol Hill officer on the scene would have likely shot the knife-carrying young man — but Grace. The headline would have been: “Knife-Wielding Homeless Man shot by Police”. By Grace, that wasn’t to be. The officer had his rules, which justified drawing his gun and threatening to fire, since he was under “threat”. But, Grace stepped in. Grace even kept receipts — just in case.
Grace is unwavering. Grace urged Anthony to comply with the officer before he got shot. When officers draw guns, they plan to use them. Grace stopped a bullet.
Grace brought calm to a tense situation. Grace encourages life and hope to someone in a hopeless situation. By Grace, Anthony is still here.
As with any of us, there’s always more to our story than you might see in one moment or situation. Ironically, Anthony had an opportunity to share his story & hopes, not too long ago, via #InvisiblePeopleTV. Click to learn more about Anthony’s story. Lost his mom. Homeless. Not trusting of homeless shelters. Yes, Anthony had a knife, but it was likely needed to protect himself from these streets. Streets where homeless people are already at bottom. Where there are fight for scraps. Where people compete to keep dignity.
Grace warned that they are “killing us out here”, as she knows the story of Black people being killed unarmed. Shooting a Black person — who has a weapon — is an instant closed case. She knew this situation wasn’t worth dying for — not on her watch.
There are greater fears for homeless people in these streets. These streets (and courts and communities) have no love for homeless people. Its evident, when some people think it’s fun to mock homeless people. Others, consider it some level of demented entertainment to physically harm a homeless person. The danger for Anthony and others could be peer to peer, too. Some kill homeless people for little or nothing. It’s no surprise that Anthony has a knife — his life is in constant danger simply by being a Black man. Grace knew there is always something to live for on this earth.
In spite of his present circumstances, anthony sees hope to help somebody else.Thanks to Grace (literally & figuratively), he might live to help somebody. And, by Grace, we are reminded that #KindnessMatters to everybody. She’s even created a #GoFundMe site for Anthony. Social workers step in when society fails to work. And, by Grace, Anthony and — the rest of us — can remember that we, too, can help somebody. Grace saved a brother, even as she still mourns the loss of own. Grace was there for another. And, by Grace, someone will be there to help us, when we need it, too.