Don’t Let Our Looks Fool You

By Bob Boclear

There seems to be a perception of a homeless person as dirty, smelly and unable to talk. Wrong. We are people. Also, we have feelings. We think, and we have concerns. Even when you see some of us clean, smelling good, and looking decent, we still appreciate your business. We have pride, but don’t let our looks fool you. We need all the help we can get to come out of this situation. Thee are a lot of us who are working homeless. Picture this: you are working second shift. You get off work and go to the shelter, but its full. Where do you go? What do you do? You’re hungry, tired, and sleepy.

Also, picture this: You put in an application for a job. You have no address, no phone, no place to be contacted. It’s not so easy to obtain a job like that.

There was a time when I was considered to be in the lower income class. I was able to pay rent, the utilities, and support my family. This was tough, but fortunately we were able to raise our children to adulthood. During that time I said bad things about homeless people. I couldn’t understand them. “Get a job, I said. I called them lazy, no good, so-and-sos. Now, since I’ve fallen off my so-called “high horse”, I understand. My point is I don’t knock anyone living a good life. But don’t sit around, watch TV, read the paper about homelessness, and say, “Aw, that’s a shame. Oh well, I wish them luck,” without giving it a second thought. I am still trying to raise money to get my Commercial Driver’s License. I need about $400. If you are interested in giving me some work, please call my voice mail at 344-1580 and I will get right back to you.

I would like to thank each and every one of you who support our paper and plight. I sincerely hope that more and more people will open up their hearts and minds and join in. God bless you all.

Copyright by the Homeless Grapevine Issue 11, August-September 1995, Cleveland, Ohio