“I’m just trying to make it out here. I sleep 10 nights every two months at the Salvation Army. The rest I sleep outside. I have been homeless since last July. I went broke and had no place to go. I wasn’t hooked on anything, just out of work with nowhere to turn. I grew up in Mobile but left when I was 12 years old. I have been back about a year and a half now. I was gone for about 30 so everything around here is new to me. It has been a shock to become invisible.
I worked at Popeye’s, car detailing, and the trash truck with Waste Management. I don’t have any special skills or college. I don’t want to be on the streets, so I pray about it. It can be dangerous out here, so I just sit by myself because I don’t want to lose my life.
I want what normal people want out of life. Work your way up and get the things that you need. Have a roof over your head and a family. It just doesn’t work out for everybody like that. Things happen, so you deal with it the best that you can. I haven’t always been homeless, but now that I am, it’s a shock to my system. I used to daydream about real estate when I saw it on television. Television shows you these different occupations that I didn’t hear about in school and didn’t know they existed. I didn’t know people restored cars and renovated houses. I didn’t know anything about that stuff growing up. Nothing. I knew you could be a policeman, fireman, or go into the military. I didn’t know there was such a thing as a chef, or anything about owning a home. I was clueless.
Life ain’t the same for everybody. What is easy for some is difficult for others. There are rich people who are born rich and they can’t help that and there are poor people who are born poor and they can’t help that. Good looking people are born good looking and ugly people are born ugly and they can’t help that. Society looks at you a certain way and goes off looks. It is hard to get a good looking person to understand what it is like to be ugly or a rich person to understand what it is like to be poor. Self-esteem plays a huge role in people’s lives. It helps you motivate yourself. How did you start changing when you’ve been beaten down your whole life? Nobody hugs you, nobody likes you, no one compliments or sees you. That’s a huge part of life.
So many pass by us going to work and going back home. They don’t see us. It helps to know some people are looking out for us. This blessing bag says ‘You are loved. We will get through this together.’ That helps you think positive thoughts. Maybe I won’t be in this for the rest of my life. Something better might come along. Just keep praying and hold on.”