It’s easy to take things for granted. Our health, if we have it, is a big one. If we are healthy we don’t tend to think we will ever get sick. Our homes, if we have one, are another big one. It’s that old story that no one ever plans on living homeless but it happens.
http://www.calc.net/index.asp Community Action of Laramie County
Caleb is twenty. We’ve known Caleb for several years, first at 4H, at the swimming pool; he worked as a lifeguard, and around town. We run into Caleb at the library or walking down the street. He almost always has some story to tell. He is on his way to Utah for Job Corp, he is back from Utah, kicked out of Job Corp, he is on his way to Oklahoma, and he is back from Oklahoma for his grandfather’s funeral. He is kicked out of his friend’s house. The water bill was too high. The mom thought he was taking too many showers. He denies ever taking a shower. His car threw a rod, so he told a friend to siphon the gas out but the friend towed the car to Colorado and sold it for scrap metal. He needed to use my phone to call the police officer handling his case.
http://www.comeashelter.org/ Comea House Cheyenne Homeless Shelter
Caleb is homeless. He tells me he is getting his “street smarts.” He is learning the ropes. The Salvation Army offers lunch Monday through Thursday. He is figuring out where to sleep and be safe. The library offers the most comfortable chairs to sleep at during the day. Usually he doesn’t get bothered, unless he is there too long. He isn’t ready to follow anyone’s rules but he needs a job to get a car. He can live in his car while he saves to get an apartment. He has applied for a job at the Holiday Inn as a van driver.
Caleb is a pleasant guy. He is courteous asking about the family. He is polite when asking to use my phone. His phone battery is dead and he can’t get his charger out of his friend’s house. He wants to get his clothes but the mom won’t let him in. He has his GED. He earned part of the credit while in Job Corp. He was able to pass the remaining tests. This is an achievement.
http://www.jobcorps.gov/home.aspx Job Corp
I want to help Caleb. I ask him if he has stayed at the local shelter. He says he probably will tonight. I want to invite him home, like a lost puppy that can be fed and watered and taught to obey. That’s not Caleb. He has to find his own way off the streets and into true independence. I didn’t tell him about the Wyoming Coalition for the Homeless but I will the next time I see him. Caleb deserves a break, a chance to make mistakes and learn from them and keep going. Caleb deserves hope for a healthy home. He hasn’t had one. Caleb is someone you should know, if you don’t already.
http://www.wch.vcn.com/ Wyoming Coalition for the Homeless
Read the story of Ralph. http://pingroof.com/article/car-is-home-but-not-for-long-for-ralph