Philip died last week. He died alone, in the woods. His body was found three days later.
I met Philip at The Shepherd's Table, a meal for the hungry, sponsored by Little River United Methodist Church. We shared a meal and talked. As it turned out, we had something in common. We were both from High Point, N.C. Philip had been a furniture maker. There isn't much furniture being made in High Point now so Philip found his way to the North Strand.
The day I met Philip he had just applied for a job. He was hopeful. The weather forecast was for freezing rain. He was worried. A job would get him out of the woods. Philip didn't get that job, and he didn't get out of the woods. He lost his hope, he lost his health, and now he has lost his life.
Philip was a gentle man, polite and very grateful for his weekly bowl of soup. His life went largely unnoticed. His death should not.
On behalf of Philip and others like him, please join the growing number of people who are working on behalf of the homeless. Join the efforts to get a shelter on the north end of the beach, to get public transportation here, to get satellite offices of government agencies here. Look at the people who many just look past. You may find someone from your hometown. You may even find a friend.
The writer lives in North Myrtle Beach.