Pandemic

Looking For Hope In A Pandemic

Tulips at the Chase Building in downtown Waterbury.

Column by John Murray

   Late April in New England is a time of renewal. After six months of slumber our lawns and meadows turn green, daffodils and tulips poke their heads up and flower, and our forests (70% of Connecticut) are electric with anticipation as our oak and maple and cherry trees produce more leaves than there are stars in the night sky.

Homeless In A Pandemic

Matt O'Toole on Easter morning with all his possessions.

Story and Photographs by John Murray

   Matt O’Toole sat outside the largest homeless shelter in Connecticut wondering how he was going to spend the next 10 hours. It was Easter Sunday and it was cold and raw outside. The St. Vincent DePaul Shelter in the South End of Waterbury boots all single men out of the facility every morning at 7 am, and O’Toole couldn’t get back in until 5 pm.

   O’Toole has been homeless off and on for much of the past year. “I made bad decisions,” O’Toole said. “Most of us in here have made a lot of bad decisions. I had an addiction problem.”