A story from Code Blue last night snapshot of homeless life. People are homeless for so many reasons, there is no “stereotypical homeless people” no “those people” no them and us. It’s all just us, all struggling, all seeking to be happy and not to suffer.
When I got to the shelter at 3am I was asked to talk to a new guest in the morning to see if I could help someone.
A young person came to talk with me, sadness and confusion on his face and in his eyes. He explained he was just got out of a hospital in NYC, a young vet suffering from PTSD and clearly other things to boot. His sister picked them up, bring them back to upstate. They hoped to stay with his folks, it did not work out.
He was on the street, was given a ticket to stay at a motel over night, he wondered looking for it in the wrong direction, getting to the motel too late to be let in. Back wondering the street again the police brought him to Code Blue.
I told him in the morning I would bring him to the county to DSS and help him get the help he needed.
In the morning, we went down. On the drive he spoke of his life, of his confusion, depression, mistakes he made, bad choices and bad luck. Of his dreams that life could be better that he could be happy. This is a very smart, well educated kid, who like all beings has struggles, his worse then many, not as bad as others, but real struggles they are, suffering, pain and confusion it is.
He said he was happy to have the shelter last night, yes for the warmth, for food, for a bed but more so for people who would talk to him. He craved someone to talk to and someone to care he exists.
Behind all the pain, the tears in his eyes, all the confusion is the hope it will get better, that he will be happy.
After we got him all set up to fill out a billion forms, I asked the staff if she could assure me he would be housed, she did so I talked to him assuring him he was going to be all set. He hugged me and thanked me for, caring.