I walk off of the streetcar and read white letters on a black sign.


Oh no, I am 30 minutes early. I go to a coffee shop in the hospital to kill time. There are no sick people there, just a bald man reading the paper.

At 10:55 I walk back towards the building. It is very run down and could use some cleaning. There are photography stores and pizza places all around it. Some people are standing outside who look very poor. They are chatting around a picnic table in their dirty coats and mitts. They must live in the shelter attached.

Inside the ceilings are extra-tall and I can imagine that this place was once impressive. It was built in the 1800s. There is a mix of old and young heads facing forward - but mostly old. They have an organ but it is not playing. Instead they are just using a piano.

We listen to some readings and sing some songs. I am surprised to remember some of them since it has been so many years since I have stepped into a place like this. My voice is rusty and I crack on the high notes. The minister says:

"A baby was born in the shelter 10 days ago to a mother who has nothing and no one. Please donate anything you can - like diapers or food."

We sing a little more and it is time to go home.

Outside the streets are lined with thousands of young Santa-fans chanting. It is his parade today.