Commentary by Arthur Price Jr.
I don’t know how people end up homeless. I think some people choose it. Everyday good people become homeless due to drugs, alcohol, loss of family members, and losing good jobs. These people end up sleeping under bridges, in doorways, at Edgewater and anywhere else they can find.
I have a friend named Lenny who gets $1,000.00 a month and is staying the shelter. I asked him why he doesn’t get himself a place and he said he would rather stay in the shelter than pay rent.
I try to help people as much as I can, but it’s hard. I like helping people because I know what they have gone through, it makes me happy when I can make someone’s day a little easier. I saw a guy going into dumpsters to get food, I bought him fries out of the kindness of my heart and he didn’t want them, he just wanted money for drugs. I don’t know what else to do.
It’s sad, I wish there was more that we could do. If I had a million dollars I would help everyone. The stories in the Cleveland Street Chronicle do a lot to help educate the public about homelessness. These stories are true and it’s important that people hear them. I would love to see the community come together and help out everyone around them as one.
The churches come around every night and bring sandwiches and coffee to help these people out and preach about God. But most people on the streets don’t believe in God, they say God is hopeless. Some of these people need more than just something to eat, they need rehab for drugs and alcohol, but they’re not getting it. I hope to see a day where everyone receives and accepts the help required for them to live a better life.
Editor’s Note: Statistics from Cuyahoga County show only a small number of homeless people using the shelters have income. Many people who fall on tough times give up on pursuing the American Dream and others give up on their religion or they limit contact with their family. Many are embarrassed and attempt to hide their own shortfalls with braggadocios stories about their income, their life or their history. Alcohol and drugs are a huge problem in the homeless community and it often alters a person’s thinking. It is a behavioral health issue because it alters a person’s behavior, thinking and ability to make rational decisions. In the end it is a health issue that needs to be treated in a similar manner as cancer, diabetes, and ALS.
Copyright Cleveland Street Chronicle September 2015 in Cleveland Ohio All Rights Reserved