Life on Skid Row: Flowers Helped a Homeless Veteran Find Forgiveness

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Rufus, a 70-year-old marine veteran, came to Skid Row with a singular mission: to avenge his brother’s death. He set his tent up around the corner from where his brother was murdered, and has remained there for the past eight years with his brother’s memory in mind, every day.

Over time, Rufus found work at the local flower shops that sit squarely in the middle of Skid Row. He spent his days taking out the trash, sweeping, parking cars, and running errands for the florists. Surrounded daily by the vibrant colors and fragrances, he discovered beauty and meaning in the cut flowers, solace in the simplicity of his work, and a sense of family in the community of Skid Row.

Rufus takes pride in his job and the contribution he makes to the shops, as well as a sense of purpose and fulfillment in his work. He never found the man he had come to kill, but he came to discover something far more meaningful—a sense of peace that had been elusive for so long.

More stories from Life on Skid Row:

Life on Skid Row: Happy Monday

Life on Skid Row: Panhandlers Are People Fighting to Survive Homelessness

Life on Skid Row: Heartbreaking Story of a Disabled Mom Surviving Homelessness


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