At school we have been looking at homeless people and what we can do for them, or how they became homeless. So we were to wright a poem, or draw a comic, build a collage, or do a short story. I did a short story.
This is what I thought about homeless and what I feel now.
Before I felt compassion for homeless people. But I was afraid of them because I thought they were alcoholics, didn’t have a job, they have drug addictions, or they have mental health issues. When I went to Victoria and Vancouver my dad told me to give some homeless people some money.
Now I feel more compassion for them and I feel lucky that my parents work hard and earn enough money to have a nice life. Now I realize that about 25% of homeless Canadians have a job and work super hard. On the card board video that we watched I was amazed that these people had jobs like a personal trainer, being on a practice squad for the Buffalo Bills.
It is an ordinary cold winter morning in New York, for most people. But not for me. For me every day is a struggle. Instead of a nice comfy bed and warm blankets I have a sheet of cardboard for a bed and a thin blanket to keep me warm over my clothes. But my bed is at least under a hotel where people park their cars. I get some spare change from people who are staying at the hotel. My body always aches and it feels like a elephant stampede is walking on my head and feet. I shouldn’t really feel sorry for myself because it was my fault that I struggle everyday.
It started about one year ago when I was 55. That night I went crazy and drank tons of alcohol and decided to hop in my car. I pulled a red light and rammed a car in the driver’s side. I ended up giving myself a broken leg and a bad concussion. But the other driver wound up with a broken back and a broken Collar bone. No one else was in the vehicle.
I was charged with drunk driving and the victim patient sued for $200 thousand dollars. So we went to court and I could barely afford a lawyer, if I lost $200 thousand. And I still had to pay off my mortgage, and pay my credit card bills. The trial went on for 3 days and the judge agreed with the prosecutor and so I got 6 months in jail and lost $ 200 thousand.
The bank took everything I had. I got out of jail 3 months early for good behavior. But when I got out I had lost my job being a carpenter, had no home, no family, and no money. That’s how I became a homeless man.
Over the next month I was trying to save as much money as I could under the hotel. But I didn’t know where to go or what to do, all I knew was what my body was telling me. I was starving and thirsty. My body ached, and I had just enough spare change to get my food and water. Everyday was similar: hungry, thirsty, and aching all over, but had enough money to buy cheap food and water. And during that time I was looking for jobs. Every time I went into a place with a computer I looked up jobs in the city. But never found any that paid well or that I could do.
One morning I walked to the other end of the City and found a sign needing construction workers, and fast. I didn’t start at minimum I started at making $16 an hour. After a week of working, they gave me the full time job, earning $19 dollars an hour. After 2 months of working I was making $25 an hour. And I could afford a really rusty, used, old $ 7000.00 long box truck with a cover over it that I could sleep in, and still pay for my food and water with ease. Soon I could afford a really cheap apartment.
But I was really lonely, so I got a 4 year old black lab for free and it had all of its shots. I was lucky because the apartment allowed pets. Buying that dog was the best thing I did since getting in my car accident. I was finally happy.
Just because the appearance of homeless people is scary doesn’t mean they are bad people. You can help them by donating money to organizations that help, clothing, food and water, because with a little bit of hope, they can go a long way.
What do you think about homeless people?