Millie was the cook at the Renaissance Treatment Center, that catererd to men with alcohol and/or drug issues… I met her there in the kitchen where I washed dishes during my stay there in 2004.

Millie looked over the men every night during supper; she studied the faces and then returned to the kitchen.

During my 28 days stay there; being in the kitchen with Millie is where I felt most safe and at ease. I asked her one time why she always looked over the faces of the men each night.

Millie smiled, “I have a son Kevin who has a problem. I always pray that someday he will make it here.”

Kevin lived on the sidewalk at Adelaide and Bay for 4 years. I met him in the late 1990’s. Kevin had the word N-I-G-G-E-R written on the sidewalk in chalk. He told me that stood for, ‘Never is God giving evil respect.

I asked Millie why Kevin was living on the sidewalk. She told me, “After his first year of teachers college he decided to take a year off… I told him he have to pay rent on a room he shared with his brother. He said he wasn’t paying for half a bedroom.”

I wonder, though it’s none of my business… If Millie knew how it was going to turn out; would she have still asked Kevin to pay rent?

Kevin did get sober.

Dennis Mantin

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