By Ronald Ferguson
In today’s society, everyone is stepping on the little man to get themselves to the top. Personally, I believe that it is important to look out for the little man, especially homeless people. My first experience with homelessness occurred back in 2000 when I housed my first homeless woman. She was a street walker with two children, her boyfriend had recently moved out of town with his mother and left the house open for her to live in. Since this was an abandoned house, they had no running water and very little money for food. Being the neighborly man I am, I brought them McDonalds every once in a while and eventually offered for her to stay in my home for three weeks until she found her own housing.
Three weeks turned into four months. She refused to take part in any programs or stay at the shelters because the curfew was too early for her lifestyle. Meanwhile, I was stuck babysitting her children and lost my way of life. I attempted to move her out several times after I discovered some of my stuff were missing and random people began showing up at my house, however, she always ended up back with me somehow. One night I took her back in and she broke my answering machine and put a hole in my wall. That was the last time she came into my home.
It’s sad that in this world a good deed can land someone in such a poor position. However, I have not given up hope. There is still hope for the little person I have found that hope at the various charities that serve homeless people. There are groups like HandsOn NEO doing the Homeless Stand Down. There is Legal Aid helping people with lawyers. NEOCH provides the Street Card information guide. Cosgrove gives out food and can help homeless people get mail.
After being set up and losing $12,000.00 in equipment from my studio I found myself homeless. It took me a long time to find a job and then housing. Before the blink of an eye it was four years. I tried getting help, but it was hard to get back into housing after getting evicted. No one will give you a chance, and there is this big H around your neck for “Homeless.” It is a huge stigma that makes it difficult for landlords or employers to take a chance. Life is hard in today’s unfair society, however I have not given up hope for the little man and neither should anyone else.
Copyright Cleveland Street Chronicle December 2015. All rights reserve