Costa Mesa Homeless: My Time With Dave (Part 2)

Starbucks

Starbucks: Our agreed upon meeting place

I arrived at Starbucks at 8:20, 10 minutes earlier than agreed upon.  I parked and started pacing.

At 8:30, it occurred to me to check inside Starbucks, but not finding Dave, I left and continued searching the parking lot.  As the minutes rolled by, I wondered if Dave had a change of heart.

Then, out of the corner of my eye I noticed someone rounding the outside of the building.

It was Dave, waving a newspaper and smiling.  “Sorry, my alarm clock didn’t go off,” he said, quickening his pace.  “No problem, glad you could make it!” I replied, making our way to the car.

It never occurred to me that homeless people wake up to an alarm clock. Read more of this post

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Elizabeth: Homeless, But Not Voiceless

Elizabeth: This is me outside of Mary's Kitchen in Orange.

Elizabeth: This is me outside of Mary’s Kitchen in Orange.

My earlier posts about spending time with Dave, 41, who lives under a bridge in Santa Ana, and J (who lives under the same bridge), have generated a lot of feedback.

I’m overwhelmed by your response, and see that many of you have a heart for the homeless.

Their stories seem to reach you in a tender spot.

Earlier today, Elizabeth contacted me via Facebook.

I’ve never met her, but she sent me a message that I found powerful and moving (included with her permission in its entirety below).

At present, she’s homeless — but certainly not without a voice.  

In her own words … Read more of this post

Costa Mesa Homeless: My Time With Dave

I faced a choice: an older gentleman with a Santa-like beard, or a younger guy standing in the same place I met J a few weeks back (click here to read about that).  I decided on the younger guy.

Harbor Boulevard

Costa Mesa’s Harbor Boulevard, where I’ve met many new friends.

Aware that I might seem threatening, I took off my sunglasses, pulled my hands out of my pockets, and walked over.

He looked in my direction when I stepped off the curb.  This is always the point where my insecurities start flying.

He probably doesn’t want to talk to you” or “Just leave him alone, you don’t have anything to offer.” Read more of this post

What’s The Difference Between You and J?

This is where I met J.

This is where I met J.

As I hugged him, I could see he was crying.  He kept saying, “Man, I’m so tired.  I’m really just so tired…I just want to rest.”

All I could think of to say was, “I know.  It’s ok.  I know.

But really, I’m lying. I have no idea.

And so do very few of the people passing us on either side, as they make their way to and fro within the Target parking lot.  For a brief moment, I forget about them, and what they might be thinking, as I just let this man cry.

In an hour and a half, this 44-year old man I’ll call “J” shared his story with me.  Of how little by little, he crept closer and closer to the streets, until finally he found himself living under a bridge in a nearby city. Read more of this post

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