Most people blame homelessness on the homeless person. It’s their fault. Since it’s their fault they are homeless, they can just get a job and work their way out of homelessness. In fact, the most common comment left by people to videos on this channel is “get a job.” Well, Charley has a job – a good job, yet he still cannot afford rent in Los Angeles.
There is research now that shows homelessness increases at the same rate as rents increase. The leading case of homelessness is lack of affordable housing, and that’s not a homeless person’s fault – that is our fault for letting it get this bad.
Charlie is homeless in Pasadena. He sleeps outside almost every night. Occasionally like tonight when it’s raining, he will pay for a hotel room to get inside where it’s dry and warm.
Imagine waking up every morning homeless. You have to hustle to clean yourself up the best you can to be presentable at work. You stash your bedroll in the bushes hoping it will be there when you get back. You jump on a train and head to work. You spend every moment of every day scared that your employer may find out your secret. Then at the end of your shift, you take a train back to where you left your bedroll and felt safe enough to sleep outside. Now you have to start working on basic survival.
Charlie’s story is far more common than anyone knows. Most “working homeless,” as they are now often called, don’t want people to know they are homeless for apparent reasons. It’s a personal choice to speak up and talk about your own homelessness, and I give people like Charlie a lot of credit. It’s stories like these that the public needs to hear. Charlie is a homeless man with a job. He is not homeless by choice.
Charlie’s GoFundMe page is here.
Charlie video blogs about his homeless and you can find his YouTube channel here.