Are you looking for me?

By: Shelia Duncan Rawls

On July 25th. 2008, I was found under a bridge on Main Street.

The Cuyahoga County Coroner’s Office tried to find who I was.  They visited several homeless shelters and circulated my photo among the homeless community. After the coroner’s office exhausted every attempt to find out who I was, the Callistian Guild along with other social service organizations buried me at Potters field in Highland Heights, Ohio and now I am known as John Doe, with a case number.

In June of 2011 while looking for her uncle, a woman discovered that I was here. The coroner’s office was excited, because finally someone was looking for me. Unfortunely, I was not the one she was looking for. Every so often this women calls the coroner’s office to see if anyone has found me, she has even named me George. Why would a total stranger care about me? How could I be dead and my family is not looking for me?

Throughout life, I was someone’s brother, uncle, husband, father, or someone’s lover. Surely, I must be someone’s friend.  I know that I was someone’s son. What happened? It is unbelievable that I am dead and no one is looking for me. Please forgive me for the choices that I have made in my life.  I know that these were heartbreaking for my family. It doesn’t mean that I didn’t love you; I just didn’t know what else to do. Please someone look for me.

 On December 21st 2011, National Homeless Memorial Day, Candlelight Vigil Service was held at St. Patrick’s Hunger Center honoring those persons who died homeless or having experienced homelessness. I am saddened that my family was not there to represent me. May God bless the stranger who shed the tear for me. Please someone look for me. 

Copyright, Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless and the Cleveland Street Chronicle in December 2011.