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HOW IT ALL BEGAN
(THE ADVENTURE BEGINS)
PART 4


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In about ten minutes, I had everything back on the bike and I located the nearest police station to make a report. I wasn't able to give them an idea which direction the other cyclist had went. I got directions to the nearest branch office in Santa Monica to my bank in Portland and went there in hopes that I would be able to get some money out of my account. When I got there, they told me that the only thing that they could do would be to call up my bank to explain what had happened and then have them FedEx me a new ATM card that should arrive the next day. I had on the bike tucked away $10 in one of the pannier pockets along with my ID. For food, I had about three day's worth.

One of the bank tellers told me about a nearby social center that might be able to find me a place to stay for the night. When I got there, I got into a long line and waited to get in. After a couple of hours, I was finally admitted but I was only able to get a hot meal (my first one in three days) and was given the phone number of another agency that I had to call after 10 pm. to see if they might be able to find me a bed someplace. As I was waiting at a pay phone to call the other agency, a Good Samaritan on a bicycle stopped by to talk and then before he left he gave me enough money for a night at the local American Youth Hostel and some left over. This donation was the first in what I later coined as being a " Green Handshake".

The next morning, Friday, March 26th, I went back to the bank and was happy to see that there was a card waiting for me. When I put the card into the ATM machine, I was stunned that it didn't work. The employee who had been helping me called up my bank and found out that they were having some computer problems. There was an assurance that I would be able to access my account in 2-3 days.

I spent the rest of the day going from one social agency to the next to see if somebody might have some idea where I could stay. I was being referred from one agency, to the next, and then on to another one, and then referred back to the agency that I had originally started out from. It was like I was on a Merry-Go-Round and I couldn't get off.

My problem was that I didn't meet any of the qualifications for assistance. Here I was a single white male who had no drug or psychological problems. I wasn't even considered as being homeless so no shelter would help me. In between the social service center and shelters, I even stopped at several churches in hopes that possibly the ministers there could give me some ideas but they only referred me to the various agencies that their churches supported.

The last place that I had been referred to was a Detox center and of course I didn't meet their qualifications. It was around 10:30 p.m. when I heard the last "no" and I was getting quite concerned in trying to find a place to stay. To make the day worse, the tube in my front tire finally gave out but I was too tired to try and fix it.




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Bicyclist in Sunset

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