for my friend Glenn. You’ll recall that he’s a homeless guy I met a while ago who’s been trying to dig himself out of a hole.
A few weeks ago he asked if he might use my address because it’s hard to get a job or apply for any kind of benefits without a mailing address. Since then he’s gotten hooked up with food stamps. That’s a huge deal for him because it means he isn’t working every waking hour trying to scrounge enough to eat. And, because that time’s been freed up, he’s been able to get down to meet with a local charity that got him a voucher for some decent cloths and some shoes. He’s been coming by my place a couple of times a week to shower and do his laundry – and then he’s out hitting every place around here within bicycle distance (he scored an old bike) for a job. The charity has lined him up with a training program but that doesn’t start until January, so he’s not waiting around.
Last week I took the day and drove him to get his birth certificate, and then to get his state ID. Of course, those two places are in completely different parts of town. He needs that paperwork, in addition to an address, to land any kind of job.
He came by this morning to shower and then off to an appointment with the charity. They’re now setting him up with section 8 housing to get him off the street. And, because food stamps in our state only run for three months – unless you’re working or volunteering – he’ll be volunteering there 20 hours a week.
He does would a few hours a week at the local convention center, cleaning the bathrooms, but that only happens when they have an event. But, since he just collected a $35.00 paycheck from them he’s splurged five bucks on a bus ride to a little different part of town – to apply at a grocery store where they’re looking for checkers, baggers, and parking lot people. While he’s there he’ll hit every other business in that area that might have any kind of opening.
I’ve offered to let him sleep in the spare bedroom but he’s only taken me up on it a couple of times when it’s too cold or too rainy out. Before he started with the food stamps I tried to help him out once in a while with a five or a ten. There were times, though, when he turned me down because he’d just been paid. He appreciates the help but only takes it when he thinks he really needs it.
I can learn a lot from a 50 year old like Glenn.