Hillary has also learned that you can’t always tell by a person’s appearance who is homeless and who isn’t. Just last week, she made a mistake on the food line. “We had a lot of extra bread,” she explains. “Someone had donated dozens and dozens of loaves. And I said to [one of the food recipients], ‘Come back when you’re done eating. We have a lot of bread today. Maybe you could take some home.’ He said, ‘Home? What do you mean, home?’ I was mortified and ashamed.”
Nibbling on a cherry scone at a bakery near the community center, Hillary says, “My priority is to greet each person with a smile and say, ‘How are you doing today?’ Sometimes, I hear back, ‘How are you today?’ For a hungry person standing there, waiting for food, to ask me how I am doing today? That’s indescribable. I don’t have words for that. It’s humanity.
“Look, I got very lucky. I was blessed. I was adopted into a very loving and supportive family. I am agnostic, but, my father once told me, ‘You may not have a big, omnipresent god figure, but you have humanity. You’re a humanist, that is your religion.’
“The point is, we are all humans,” she adds, looking down at her scone. “You, me, that man there.” Hillary points to a gentleman sitting at a nearby table, drinking a latte, eating a pastry and reading the paper. “We are all in this together.”