Saturday, April 30, 2011


Over the past week I have run across several things that have sent me into memories of my past homelessness and cause great heartache for me. I do not say heartache in the sense that I have pain from those memories, but pain for those in the circumstance today.

The first instance that caused me grief was on Tuesday. Shortly after I dropped Erin of at the train station I was driving away and had only gotten 4-5 blocks and I saw a young man who appeared to be homeless. He looked to be between sixth and ninth grade. The reason that I thought maybe homeless, he carried a clear trash bag that had a pair of shoes and a few sets of cloths. I realize that this is not an automatic determinant of whether or no he was homeless or not, but the sight of him made me think it. At this I began to feel sad and remember when I was young.

When I was 6 years old my mother and father split and I chose to live with my father. The reason, I was a daddy's boy. This decision, little did I know, meant that at times in the next few years I would move from place to place, town to town, state to state, family members house to family members house, homeless shelter to homeless shelter, park to under pass, to where ever we could find to lay our heads at night. In addition, it meant that I would have food sometimes and others I would not. Moreover, I would have my father and older brother, and at times be alone for days at a time. Additionally, I would have to move from school to school.

The second instance that reminded me of this time was a presentation in my Human Behavior and Diverse population class. One of the groups covered the homeless population of north Texas and it had interviews of some of the homeless in Dallas. Listening to the group was enlightening in that it gave light into the broader society and how it is currently viewing the population. Part of it believes that homeless do not exist, part believe they do and they are lazy unmotivated people, and others believe that they are in need of help to get them going again.

I am a formerly homeless person. I have a high school diploma, I am a graduate of a university, I am a masters student, I am a member of the Oklahoma Air National Guard/ United States Air Force and have served my country at home and abroad for almost 7 years, I am a minister of God, I am a homeless person who has done a lot with help from people who cared.

I am a living example of what can happen when homeless people succeed.

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