John | Invisible People

John


John is relativity famous in Portland, Oregon. I first heard about him while talking to a barista at Starbucks. One of the other employees has started work on a documentary about John’s homeless life. Then, […]

John

John is relativity famous in Portland, Oregon. I first heard about him while talking to a barista at Starbucks. One of the other employees has started work on a documentary about John’s homeless life. Then, after walking back from a meeting with a small group of people, one of my friends starts sharing the story of an interaction with a homeless person she had earlier. No sooner does she end the story and there’s John! I introduce myself and start sharing about my work, but before I could finish, John pulls out an Invisible People business card I had left at the Starbucks earlier. It’s as if we were meant to find each other.

John is very candid about how he ended up homeless. At 9 years-old he was molested and abused. For most of his young life he repressed all of the horrible memories. Then in his 30s, the memories started to surface causing PTSD. John eventually was unable to work. He lived in his car for a bit, but when his car was towed, his only choice was homelessness.

For nearly 7 years, John drifted throughout the south, spending most of his time in small towns in Texas. John’s self-esteem was at it’s lowest. He didn’t take care of himself. He didn’t wash or clean! At the time, John weighed over 300lbs and survived by eating thrown-away chicken and donuts out of dumpsters.

John has always been a spiritual person. One night, outside a Chili’s restaurant in Texas, John saw a vision of Christ. In John’s own words “it helped me regain my heart a little bit, and I have been climbing ever since.”

John says that most folks don’t realize that the homeless people you see are “the walking wounded.” Many have been abused beyond imagination, and everyone has a story.

John’s third wish is that Christianity start acting out of kindness. He’d like to see people act out of kindness and love instead of preaching and being judgmental. Amen to that!

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  • http://twitter.com/LindaOConnor18 Linda OConnor

    I just want to reach out and hug John – what a wonderful person. Its about time we came together to end homelessness. There is far too much waste in this world, and not enough compassion.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jennifer.teachworth Jennifer Teachworth

    Hey there,

    I wanted to say great profile on John Michael. I am currently producing the documentary on him and homelessness, called The Last American Adventure, @AmAdventureDoc and I was hoping you could provide a link within your fantastic profile on John to our documentary:

    website: http://www.lastamericanadventure.com

    FB: https://www.facebook.com/lastamericanadventure

    twitter: https://twitter.com/amadventuredoc

    Thanks for your work!

  • http://www.facebook.com/brucewjheckman Bruce Heckman

    Jesus Christ said: feed My sheep, take care of the weak. What (you) do to “them” you have done unto Me. Care for them , Give to their need. Amen (Light of Faith) Praise God = Love :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/brucewjheckman Bruce Heckman

    What people need to UnderStand Is the TRUTH you are :always: going to have the POOR among you . The point that I’m trying to say is this, be a GIVER . Because everything you have was GIVEN to you •SHARE• and it to will be shared with you :) Amen

  • http://hardlynormal.com hardlynormal

    Bruce,

    We want to keep the conversation open to everyone. Please limit your comments to an actual response on the topic and not just religious preaching.

    Last time you left a bunch of religious comments we had to delete them. One comment is enough, and the religious talk does not help the conversation. We need less talk and more action, which if you watched John’s story to the end, he asked the same thing.

    Thank you