Last July we hired a man, M., to work in our store. With few bookstore skills we started him out with simple tasks and responsibilities. Over the succeeding months M has gained knowledge and skill. We have been glad every day that he has been a part of our staff. M’s life had taken a couple of rough turns. Among other challenges he has worked and worked at paying off his credit card debt. And today is a bonus day for M. He will be sleeping in a bed for the first time in 450 days because today he has moved in to his first apartment since was put out on the street, homeless. For the first time in a couple of years he will be cooking his own meals, using shower and bathroom in the same place where his room is located. We think that we are as thrilled for M as he is.
Each of us has learned many lessons about homelessness. It is a complicated and difficult challenge, for those of us with homes and steady lives and for those without homes. The mentally ill and the chemically dependent have it even worse than the sane, clean and sober homeless like M.
We look forward to seeing what changes will result from M having regular, healthy meals, regular undisturbed sleep in a bed, and handy laundry, toilet, and kitchen facilities in his life.