A few times in my travels I have run into the same homeless friend. It’s kind of a mixed feeling. I’m happy to see someone I know, yet saddened that in a years time we could not get one person off the streets.
When I first met Mohammed it was a cold and rainy Chicago night. Now almost a year later he is still panhandling in the same area.
Mohammed is missing an arm. He was shot six times while gang banging and spent some time in jail. He says God has given him a second chance on life. Even with disability Mohammed doesn’t qualify for SSI because they say he can work. But let’s be real here. Who is going to give a one-armed homeless man with a criminal past a job?
Since Illinois does not pay general relief Mohammed’s only income is panhandling. In the three hours before this interview he made a quarter.