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 set up 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