More catching up on the past two months… I volunteered at an outreach to the homeless in Cleveland on Christmas night, during a trip back to the city to see relatives. This is run out of St. Malachi’s Church on W. 25th St. and provides food, clothes and a medical clinic. During a talk with the director, I learned he is lobbying for clusters of “small houses” for the homeless in the Cleveland area — as is being done in other parts of the country. Excellent idea… While in Cleveland, we also spent Christmas Eve with a group of Catholic Workers who take homeless people in, have a “Storefront” to feed those on the street, have set up an “urban farm” and volunteer for various neighborhood projects in a quite hardscrabble area of the city. For five years, our family intentionally moved to this area in order to work in solidarity with this group. We can’t leave people in these places abandoned. We just can’t… Note: And speaking of community building: Just prior to going back to Cleveland, I interviewed a woman in Findlay, Ohio, who had a “Little Library” installed in her front yard right on the sidewalk. About the size of, say, a pretty big bird feeder, there are two shelves for books. The concept is for neighborhood people to “…take a book, give a book.” And as people in the neighborhood start to read the same books, it helps lubricate conversation drawing people closer together in community — in part, like it was in the old days. There is a “Little Library” website that indicates some 30,000 of these have been put up around America in the past five years since the initiative started.