What brought you to Columbus? I was passing through in 1998 from California and I had a two-hour wait at the bus station. I started talking to this lady and next thing you know, she said, “Why don’t you stay?” I really didn’t have anything back home (in Michigan) so I stayed and I got some construction jobs. I helped build the new jail. Then I helped build the new theater at CSU. I’ve always been in construction. After that I started going downhill. I got involved with drugs and alcohol. It led from one thing to another.
You’re homeless now? Yes. I guess I choose to be in that position.
Did you get help for your addiction? I did go into drug counseling on Wynnton Road, then I went to New Horizons. I also try to help other people. They like to drink and when they get too much, they don’t know when to quit.
Where do you lay your head? Where I can. Right now I’m in a wooded area where I can put down my tarp and sleeping bags and comforter. There’s also a church on Fifth Avenue that has a water hose; the church says I can use it. I’ve been homeless about five years. I can do yard work, sheetrock, electrical, concrete. ... A guy was in my sleeping spot the other day going through my food. He said he was hungry and I gave him all my food. I try to help people out when I can. If I have money and you need it, I’ll give it to you. Money is really no value unless you have a house or a car note.
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How does your faith keep you going? What keeps me going is to see another day. I like helping people. You run into people who have knowledge of Christianity and the Bible and that is a treat to me. I come from a background where we always went to church. Every Sunday I had to get up and go, but I never took stock in it until later.
You were at the Banquet at the Bridge Sunday. How did it go? It was a beautiful day. I really liked to mingle with the people. I got to talk to teachers and lawyers, and I saw people I hadn’t seen in months or years.
Do you think there are misconceptions about homeless people? People are people, regardless of who you are. There are people who are well off who don’t understand life. You have to see that people are out here trying. Sometimes when someone says to you, “Hey, how you doing?” you’d be surprised what a glow comes on that person. I just try to make people happy. You won’t always have good days. Some days will be a big-smile day and some days you’ll be upset a lot. Sometimes I hurt and I want to cry. People say men don’t cry, but I cry. We all have feelings. I saw a dog get hit on the road the other day, and I started to cry.