Bill

It was snowing pretty bad when I met Bill in Syracuse. I must have had some snow on my face because when I walked up to say hello, Bill took out some Kleenex and started to wipe my face dry. I stood there in the cold overwhelmed by this kind gesture from a gentle homeless man. Bill only knew me for a moment, yet he was concerned enough about a complete stranger to clean off my face.

Bill has been on the streets for some time. He suffers from PTSD because of a violent attack many years ago.

He sleeps in an abandoned loft he claims was one used by an artist. The last time Bill stayed in a homeless shelter someone stole his dentures while he was sleeping.

The Housing First model may be a fit for someone like Bill. He’s never going to go back to gainful employment and no one should stay in the shelter system without a direct pass to housing. Bill broke my heart. I tried to talk him into walking to a shelter with me, but he said he knows how to wrap up at night.  Someday soon I hope we’ll have a system where an outreach worker can walk up to a person like Bill and give him a key to an apartment. Until then, all I can do is open my wallet to help make Bill’s night a little easier.

 

Special thanks to Syracuse Rescue Mission

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  • DrMMcLaughlin

    I’ve spoken with Bill several times this week by phone and expect to connect with him in person next week in Syracuse. He was brought to my attention by an attorney who has an office in the downtown Syracuse area and who often chats with Bill on the street. He asked me if I could help him. I plan to do all that I can to assist him.

    Bill came across to me as very intelligent and very polite. I’ll show him this video as I don’t think he’s seen it yet although he remembers the interview.

  • Donella

    Bill appears to be an amazing person. He seems very intelligent and well spoken. I am glad that Dr. McLaughlin is going to try and help Bill. I also hope that Bill’s future is better than the present.

  • AGonzalez

    Bill, seems that you have been though so much in your life and seems to me that you’re still hanging in there. But it looks like you are not giving up on yourself and keep trying to survive! Good Luck and God Bless!

  • Lisa Nieves

    Bill just imagining what you are going through is hard. Life is not easy for anyone, and is even harder for the homeless people. I wish there was a way to help people like you. Those three wishes you made i really hope they come true and you can smile again.

  • HBDS

    Bill, your story really touched our hearts. we’re glad you are better off than some homeless people and we are so happy that you keep warm and have a place to stay. We hope all goes well with you and your kids relationships. We will keep you in our prayers and pray for you to overcome your situation. God bless.

  • JR AW

    Not only did Bill share his homeless story, he told us about his illness. Even though his homeless he wont be confined to a shelter. His honesty and pride is what further drives us to help those less fortunate. For this we thank you for spreading the word.

  • K.H. R.L.

    I’m glad you take you priorities seriously. Your story really made me realize how grateful I should be for everything. May God bless you. Stay safe! I really hope the best for you.

  • Bud Unger

    I really hope that Bill’s family sees this and knows that their father is out in sub degree weather trying to survive. People make decisions that they may regret. We as family and friends should stick by and offer a hand up, because we can be in the same place they are with as little as a bad choice.

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