I really like Thomas’s story; it struck a chord with me. He talks about some key issues facing the homeless population that we often do not consider. For one, they must stay mobile, which means that everything they own is in a bag, cart, or buggy (a good thing to remember when you’re helping certain homeless populations). This presents a challenge for shelters, churches, or food pantries because accommodating people with bags/carts can be a security risk. Also, the homeless won’t go places where they cannot either keep their bags with them or feel their bags are safe.

Earlier that day Thomas followed a man off a bus and into a church. The church really did not know how to react and Thomas said they both freaked each other out.

Another point Thomas brings up is safety. Usually homeless sleep during the day and walk the streets at night because it is safer. Even then, sleep is not restful. You are constantly vulnerable, which is really frightening. Add to that, the various laws cities have in place prohibiting panhandling and sleeping in public places; it is not an easy life!

Near the end, Thomas talks about different races living homeless and how poverty does not discriminate. We can learn an awful from Thomas’ homeless experience, their unique needs and focus on survival. But perhaps more importantly, we can learn something about ourselves and how we treat the homeless.

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  • Kimberly Bock

    What state was this filmed in? Florida? it would be really weird if so, cause I could swear I’ve seen this man before. I was homeless and strung out in Daytona some time ago, before entering recovery.

    I’m grabbing your feed. I KNOW how hard it is to pick yourself up in this world the way it is today.

    People look @Thomas like he’s a worthless dirtball. When the fact of the matter is, there are not many options for us. People would rather pass us by or spit on us then offer us help.

    Help that’s available is nearly worthless.

    We have no insurance to pay for treatment programs or housing.

    We have waiting lines that keep us waiting for months to enter programs paid for by the state or otherwise. by that time, we don’t know where we are going to be.

    We can’t sleep in the same place too many nights in a row or we face incarceration.

    We can’t work because noone wants to hire a smelly homeless dude carrying his life’s belongings in a totebag on his/her shoulders, drug addict or not.

    Heaven forbid we SHOULD manage to get out then make it our lifes mission to encourage change and betterment, because even then we are ridiculed.

    People want us to change, but when we do, we are frequently resisted, as if we are nobody’s.

    Wherever he is right now, I hope he’s being cared for until he can get out of the hell he is in.

    Todays hero? Thomas. The rest of us can learn from him.

  • Nanci

    This is so real and just what I needed to hear – thank you for this ministry – it is very needed and very well done!

  • chsrlotte

    Preach it, Thomas!

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