A Kenmore Square fixture, Melvin has gone missing

The Boston Globe

Four years ago, when she was a freshman at Boston University, Sarah Kapica would avert her eyes as she walked past the man who sat, wrapped in a blanket, in the doorway of an abandoned apartment building in Kenmore Square.

She had grown up in a nice family in a nice house in a nice suburb, and the scruffy homeless man made her uncomfortable.

But something changed her sophomore year. Something gnawed at her as she crossed the intersection at Beacon Street and Commonwealth Avenue, pushing her inexorably toward the sunken man huddled in the doorway.

“Hello,” she said. “How are you today?”

Melvin Ramos looked up and a smile spread slowly across his unshaven face, like a sunrise.

“I’m doing fine,” Melvin replied.

From that day on, Sarah never passed Melvin without saying hello, to ask what he was reading, to ask how he was feeling.

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