Alice is an affable older woman who I noticed sitting on the sidewalk leaning against the wall outside Union Station. Her donations cup was empty even though this was the height of the morning rush. I thought she was listening to music on her headset but that was not the case as these were not connected to anything but Alice. I commented on her jewelry which she said was worth thousands but some fool had thrown them in the trash dumpster. Alice says she has only been on the streets for about six months after losing her shared rental when her room mate started a fire cooking drugs. She is trying to get connected to social services before the cold weather sets in but in the interim is at least staying in a women's shelter at night and panhandling during the day. Alice is vague and evasive when asked about her family or any contact with the mental health system. Given her friendly demeanor it's surprising she wasn't making more in the way of donations. Perhaps it was just a slow day. Such is the life of an Invisible One in Washington, DC. I paid Alice for her time as well as giving her a food voucher and a bottle of water. I was invited back anytime I was in the neighborhood.