Commentary by Diane Robinson
I’ve been a vendor of the Cleveland Street Chronicle for about two years. I’ve been dealing with blindness for 29 years, and at one point in time, was homeless for about a year.
I recently went to the library and asked the librarian for information about celebrities who’d experienced homelessness. I was given information about Steve Harvey, and his experience with homelessness. I figured if he could get himself on his feet, so can I.
In an article in People Magazine, Steve Harvey said that in the late 1980s, after “one or two gigs fell through,” he found himself homeless. He lived in his 1976 Ford Tempo for three years, washing up in hotel bathrooms, gas stations or swimming pool showers, until he was called to appear on “Showtime at the Apollo,” which turned out to be his big break.
After I became blind, I would rely on my children to cook and clean for me. One time, after being extremely hungry waiting for my children to get home, I decided to get up and cook myself something to eat. After that, I began to do more for myself, including cooking, cleaning and doing laundry. I didn’t cry and give up, or sit around being depressed.
I started going to the Cleveland Sight Center, where I’m learning to become more self-sufficient. Before I lost my sight, I used to work as a nurse’s aide, and also used to draw, type and sew. Now, I’m learning keyboarding on computers; taking GED classes as a refresher; learning to read Braille so that I can “read” again; and knitting so I can make things to sell. I like to get out and about, sell the Street Chronicle, and sometimes do some babysitting.
At the Sight Center, they remind you that although you may not have your sight, you do still have your life. I believe that as long as you’re alive, there’s hope. If Steve Harvey could succeed at overcoming homelessness, so can I.
Copyright Cleveland Street Chronical and NEOCH June 2015