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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.


  1. Oh, so I fianlly get mentioned in your blog and I am being defeated in chess by CHD! I want you to know CCD did beat CHD the second game..our matches were tied at 1 and 1. We had great fun and a hispanic dude named Paul, that helps at SOUL was spouting off he could beat both of us…well, CHD AND CCD both put a whoopin on Paul..who is now named YCM. (Yoda Chess Master) Tammy, thanks for all you do..every day I am more thankful that God blessed me with such an amazing, loving friend like you! You are awesome!

  2. I agree with CCD. And I am so glad to see everyone is having a good time.

  3. Well it is a good thing that I started reading your blog because what CCD says may be true he did beat me the second game but that is because he knows Im ADHD and he take 45 minutes to make one move. He took advantage of a poor defenseless homeless guy SHAME on him.

  4. Geez…CHD..I believe at the beginning of the game you said take all the time you need..hummm. I guess the chess battle will continue soon!

  5. Goldie is still with us, at the house. sigh. My dog fell in love with her (seriously) and I can’t stand to break his heart. I am a sap for love.
    So while we are in paris she and Nicky the black lab will be playing (tearing up) the backyard)

    But she’s cute!

  6. Great seeing you guys at SOUL yesterday. I think a chess Rematch is in order between CCD and CHD!

  7. Alright CCD if you say i said that you take all the time you need. I apparently lied. I agree with Tammy we need a rematch. My CHB(cool homeless buddy) said yesterday he didnt even get to play. I think he thinks your scared to play him. HMMMMM???? Sounds like a bit of trash talk from my pal. Anyway it was certainly great to see you both yesterday at Souls. I also enjoyed the service with CCD. Life is good even if your homeless.

  8. Well I see that CCD has made no response. I will have to warn My CHB that he is apparently not wasting time on the computer but studying the moves of chess greats to whoop on my buddy.

  9. Well, Tammy is off to Paris and’s going to be real boring while she is gone! Guess we will have to play some chess and yes, CHB can play next time, and even set a time limit, if necessary! Glad you guys enjoyed was another remarkable day..God planned it much better than I could have imagined. You guys are probably practicing your moves on the chess board. I’m NOT good enough to talk smack..just want to keep the correct stats!

  10. Well, i guess it’s time i said hi. i finally got to play chess with CCD and i say that he must have gotten his 12 year old student who he plays chess with to tutor him because he played better than he did at the picnic. was there by the way and watched those games, as i was saying we played and CCD beat me hands down. but next time we will see about that then, till then i will be practicing.


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