Charles Hanset was living another day that wasn’t supposed to be, which meant he had another chance to make a difference. So he stacked seven pizza boxes in the passenger seat of his station wagon.
Hanset, 38, already had packed the back end with blue jeans, sweaters and khakis. There was his old “Indiana Jones” shirt, which didn’t fit him anymore, along with more undersized clothes he’d brought from home. There were women’s clothes, which he’d scrounged from local Oxford Houses. There were clothes he’d gotten from Recovery Cafe Clark County, where he works part time to coordinate resources for those in recovery.
Finally, Hanset spent about $70 to purchase seven large pizzas and two bundles of water bottles, even though he knew it would dent his small monthly income. Next to the water bottles, Hanset placed a black box filled with housing application packets, fliers on mental health and addiction services and minutes and agendas from meetings Hanset had attended.
On this 90-degree July day, Hanset was headed to a homeless drive he’d been organizing for months. Hanset had previously distributed resource packets and McChicken sandwiches at homeless encampments in Vancouver with his friend Jennifer King, but he was looking for the place he could create the largest impact.
He settled on the Vancouver Navigation Center, the day shelter on Grand Boulevard. Hanset hoped he could distribute pizza and clothes to 100 people.