After returning from tours of Iraq and Afghanistan, Michael found himself back in America with a drug and alcohol addiction, which quickly led to job loss and then homelessness.
Michael is homeless in Syracuse. I met him “flying a sign” on a subzero winter day just to get a few dollars to survive. Weather report at the time of this interview was around minus 15 °F. I had to take my gloves off just for a moment to setup the camera, and the tips of my fingers burned like they were on fire for the next half hour. Michael said he had been standing there for 2 hours. Luckily, Catholic Charities is providing shelter for him at night, but the day before on the same corner, I gave socks and gloves to a man who is sleeping outside during this weather.
When I asked Michael what he wanted the world to know about being a homeless veteran he responded: ” for a person to be homeless it’s a shame, for a veteran to be homeless it’s a tragedy.”
Please watch this powerful video on veterans homelessness.
Special thanks to Syracuse Rescue Mission