By Alexander “Dad” Hamilton
Making a decision to change can often be difficult for many people. A lot of people who desire change may find it hard to start or don’t know when or how to start. The commercial tagline of “Just Do It” is one of the hardest concepts for most people to follow, especially when they have had a hard or difficult life. My life purpose has been to help people figure it all out by being that fatherly voice of reason that also listens to a person express their frustration over their problems. Most people don’t realize that all it takes to really ”Just Do It” is the willingness to pick up the phone and call a trusted individual who can offer them suggestions and help on what to do next. For many people l have been that fatherly voice when they have had no one else to turn to for honest but loving advice.
Please be assured l make no claims to being or acting as a professional. I am simply a property manager who cares. I want people to know that I care about their well-being and their future and I want to help in as feasible a way that I can. For instance. I have encountered many women who I have become a “surrogate father” too. One such young lady called me when the police were taking her kids from her home. I asked her to allow me to speck with the officers on the scene. They informed me that they were removing the young lady’s children due to child endangerment. If there is violence in the home, weapons that are not safely kept or even drug use, are all considered child endangerment.
Once I had spoken with the police, I told the young lady what was said to me about the reason they were taking her children. She stated to me that she did not know what the term child endangerment meant. I then proceeded to ask her a series of question about what things might be in her home that would present a danger to her children. She said “no” to most of my questions except for one and that was that she was a drug addict. I told her that because she was using drugs that the police needed to take her children to keep them safe. I then asked her was she in contact with her mother. She stated yes and would she mind having her mother care for her children.
Well the young woman went before the judge and approved the children residing with the kid’s grandmother. Once this took place, the young woman asked me what she do next. My suggestion to her was that she needed to enroll herself in a treatment program and parenting classes so that she could prove she responsibly was dealing with her problems. I am happy to say that the young woman did what I suggested and eventually was able to regain custody of her children. Today this young woman is now a property manager herself and has a nice young gentleman and her children as she looks forward to a brighter future.
This situation I just explained could have happened to anyone. In fact had the young lady not known me or had anyone to call she could have gone further into her addiction and decided to give up on life. She could have lost her home and ended up in a spiral of homelessness that she may not have had the strength to recover from. Instead the young lady made a room for change with friends and family.
For those people who find themselves struggling to make the right choices, l want them to know that I am here. If nothing else l can give tenants fatherly advice and show them options that they may not have thought were available. The properties l manage are based on providing safe environment that provides basic amenities such as utilities and clean and furnished room a homelike atmosphere. While it may not be like a five star hotel, or even a regular apartment, there are advantages that are not afforded other traditional avenues of gaining shelter. Also with other forms of shelter a person often has to come up with first and last month’s rent. Not so with the rooming houses for the most part. One month is all you need to take that first step of making a room for change.
Another thing to keep in mind is being able to recognize that becoming homeless was a process and there is a similar process to come out of homelessness. The great thing about making a room for change is that when you take the first step you are changing your life for the better. Be patient and learn to love the process. I will be glad to listen to anyone’s issues and offer suggestions.
Copyright Cleveland Street Chronical and NEOCH January 2015