I got a text today from one of my closest friends. It read:
CCD (cool counselor dude) is getting his butt whooped in CHESS right now by CHD (cool homeless dude).
I laughed hysterically, because I knew it was CHD who sent the text, and he was literally playing chess at a homeless picnic with my very secure and stable friend who has a house, and is a counselor for a local school.
See, homeless people know they’re homeless. They can laugh at themselves and their situation.
“How come you don’t have a cellphone?” I asked Aaron (CHD) last week.
“I’m HOMELESS,” he said. “Do you really think I need a cellphone?”
I must admit, he has a good point!
Aaron is funny. He’s an intellectual, and a writer. He spends his days at the library working on his novel. Like most people on the street, his homelessness is not about money, but about the thing in life that’s holding him back, the strongholds against his soul. It’s about the enemy of our soul. The one who wants to latch on and keep you down and stuck in addiction, past tragedy, death of a parent, severe life alteration, loss, or other major event from childhood that seems insurmountable.
These are the things I write about in the Compass. The invisible things, that keep humans from fulfilling what we believe is their full potential. I say what we believe, because whose to say having a house is all that? I’ve met a lot of homeless people who are a lot sharper mentally than some of the people I know that live in mansions.
Aaron was married at one time with kids, and then divorced. Since then he has been unable to bounce back, mired in depression. One day though, I know his circumstance will change. It’s already starting to. He had no network of friends or family to lift him up. Sometimes in life it feels like the obstacles are just too big to overcome.
“The homeless population is getting a lot of attention these days,” he observed. “It’s all over the cover of the New York Times, and London financial times even.”
“Why do you think that is?” I asked.
“It’s because of middle aged white guys like me,” Aaron said. “That’s why the media cares now.”
Aaron said that from his firsthand experience, the shelters were 90% black just a year ago, and are now 60/40. The white population has increased due to the economic situation in America. Interesting statistics, from the street. Obama, please help change things.
It’s an uphill battle, I can tell you that.
It goes much deeper than economic stimulation. It’s about mental illness, managing adults who were kids raised in dysfunctional or abusive families.