All he needed was a hug.

559870_10152113613373086_235349878_nI gently stretched out his paralyzed leg. His pants were drenched with urine. James had a stroke that paralyzed the left side of his body. His left arm was contracted tightly to his chest. “The only use this arm has is to hold my vodka to keep me warm at night.”
The stretching provided some relief, then I helped reposition him on the wheelchair so he can feel more comfortable. I wheeled him 7 blocks to the Midnight Mission so he can find shelter from the cold. Along the way, he gave me a personal tour of Skid Row.
I asked him if he wanted something to eat, but he said all he needed was a hug. So I hugged him tightly. And bought him dinner anyway.