Jag satt för ett par dagar sedan och googla om hemlöshet. Jag ville inte läsa statistik eller politikers försvar, jag ville läsa berättelser. Jag kom över en amerikansk sida och hittade berättelsen om Robert. Jag kände att jag ville dela med mig. Hoppas ni kan ha överseende med att det är på engelska .
The first morning I saw him on the cafe patio, he was sipping coffee while surfing the web on his laptop. A large rolling suitcase sat on the ground beside him. Robert looked a lot more like a traveling business man than a homeless person. However, as the days passed, I realized that he was always wearing the same clothes. And when I realized that, I wanted to reach out.
It wasn’t long before Robert and I were sharing conversation over coffee and bagels each morning. We talked about his plight. He did have Disability Checks coming in, but it wasn’t enough to afford him a place to live. And like so many homeless people, Robert refused to stay at a homeless shelter.
Many homeless shelters are dangerous, scary places. Thefts and violence are common place. Add all that to the under paid and uneducated staff who often could not care a bit for the people they serve, and you have a place that may be warm but is likely not very safe.
Robert had applied for subsidized housing and was waiting for a slot to open up. Soon he had his new home and was on his way to a new life.
My getting to know Robert remind me of two things. One, you don’t have to look homeless to be homeless. And, that sometimes it is preferred to stay ”out there” to be safe.