joy to the fullest / retreats

Finding Inspiration in “Waterman Dave” of San Diego

As part of our last retreat, we talked about the stories of some everyday heroes. We broke out into small groups and talked about the inspiration we can take from the actions of just one person. These people, by their generosity of spirit are walking examples of how one begins to live joy to the fullest; by giving what they can with altruism and love. One of these people is “Waterman Dave” from San Diego, California.

Waterman Dave is a retired 75 year old man living in San Diego, and every day he brings water and snacks to the homeless out of his car. He pays for the water and food out of his own pocket, and he’s quite serious about ending homelessness in his city.

While as many as 70 cities nationwide are banding together to try and find homes for 100,000 people (the campaign is called 100,000 Homes), Dave sees that there hasn’t been much of an impact on the daily lives of those homeless people he interacts with. In San Diego alone, there are more than 4,600 homeless people living on the streets. As is the case with many homeless throughout the US, these people are often mentally ill or abuse illegal substances.

Dave says that he’s often the only person the homeless speak to on a daily basis, and many look forward to his visit. Dave is their connection to the rest of the world. Even while he is only bringing bottled water and simple snacks, Dave’s hospitality spreads much further than the food and drink he provides.