Homeless Chicago man talks about his life and how he wishes he was treated

April 24, 2013 | By Abraham | 123 comments

This is an incredible interview….

(via Reddit)

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123 Comments

  1. George says:

    Very touching to me. Though I’m not abusive or disrespectful, many times I have been the calloused soul passing by a homeless person on the street.

    There are so many scammers and pretenders out there — it’s easy to grow cynical. But that doesn’t make it right to ignore these human beings, whose lives are every bit as precious as our own.

    1. Sincere1 says:

      Well stated, George! We who are blessed to have jobs, homes, food, etc. – regardless of our true circumstances, take for granted that we may be just a few paychecks away from being in the same position. It is never OK to make judgements and assumptions about why people are where they are in life. Bestow courtesy, kindness, compassion, and respect on everyone – someday we may find ourselves needing the same. Praying that life will deal this gentleman a helping hand. Peace & Blessings

      1. Laura Smith says:

        absolutely sickening that a country as rich as america (and other rich nations) still has people living like this…. in my opinion no one should have to live like this when there are still churches with gold alters, bank managers earning £1m a year in bonuses, priceless art works hanging in government funded museums…the list could go on…one day we will wake up and be totally ashamed of ourselves for believing that the amount we earn, what we own, how nice our house looks is more important than the life of someone like this….

    2. Jordan says:

      I thought this was very touching. lets find this guy a job or something. i know so many times i give a dollar or two, sometimes ill have half a meal left over and offer it to them. i know sometimes when im in a rush i just pass by them or sometimes its because i feel guilty for not having anything for them, but i think next time even if i have nothing for them, i will stop to talk to them and at least wish them a nice day.

        1. Joey says:

          I don’t know his name but I pass by him everyday on my way back to Ogilvie. He is always on the bridge to the Chicago River on Madison just a block away from Union and Ogilvie.

    3. Mat says:

      Me too George. But remember something – the scammers – i have seen them, wearing them nice shoes, nails polished, and they are not in a condition like him, with raggity clothes, scruffy beard etc. You have to know how to pick them out.

      1. hannah says:

        Please don’t judge by clothing, nails, hair, etc. Too often women leaving abusive relationships are living in cars and still have nice clothes and shoes. They may not, however, have money for food or housing. The same goes for individuals who have been out of work and do not have a support system, finding themselves newly houseless and desperately trying to “play the part” as they continue to look for employment. The reality is that very few people want to beg if there are other options. One can reach this point frighteningly fast. Once they do, the resources to rise above it (especially if there are mental health or age issues involved) are sorely lacking.

      2. GMc says:

        Be afraid…be aware, scammers will take things from you, I want to be courageous enough to act in the presence of fear. I once heard a man say “no one can take advantage of me…not when I’m giving the advantage to them”

      3. kristie says:

        I dont think you can “pick them out” all by what they where, People donate nice nice things, they have the obama phones, I’ve seen this man and he has been nothing but polite, No homeless people have pride too, Some actually do keep them selfs clean and dont look raggity, I think that is just a bad stereo type but sadly their are the scam artists, I guess you have to go by your gut

    4. bolter says:

      “There are so many scammers and pretenders out there”. Yes I’m sure there are scores of secretly rich guys pretending to be beggars in order to get a nickel off you. Your comment is sickening.

      1. Jake says:

        Don’t be so quick to judge. I’ve had people to come up to me before that I KNEW were scamming me. He’d give me this sob story that didn’t make any sense to begin with, and this… smirk that screams “sucker” to me. I tried giving him money anyway because I kinda got the feeling he would try to start something if I didn’t. There are just some truly rotten people in this world. Don’t fool yourself into thinking there aren’t. With that said, this man seems very truthful, and I hope he can turn his luck around.

      2. Rebe Lee says:

        I know of a woman who begged at the exit ramp of an expressway claiming to be homeless and hungry. She lives 4 houses down from my aunt. She is a heroin addict, and is really begging for drug money with her boyfriend, while her actual husband is at work busting his rear to support her cos she refuses to get a job. No sympathy for him tho..I know a group with buckets that have veterans for veterans written on them, they beg over on US1..wear uniforms and everything. I paid attention one day and realized they are fakes cos they weren’t wearing the uniforms correctly. The sleeves were folded wrong among a couple other minor details. I am not the only one who noticed (I am a former Marine, my parents were in the Army, my grandaddy in the Navy..I know exactly how a uniform is supposed to be worn)..The Governor got flooded with so many complaints from legitimate veterans and servicemembers that he investigated, found they were frauds, and passed a law against impersonating a veteran. I know a veteran who is homeless and begs for money. He gets $5000 a month in military benefits for his disabilities and almost had a home to live in (my other aunt’s)..but started doing cocaine again. Everyone who gives him a buck or 2 is funding his next high. He literally blows all his money on blow. There is a fella who begs by the mall with a sign around his next..I watched his act as it developed over a few weeks time from simply begging..speaking well, no shaking, holds the sign just fine..then suddenly he had shakey hands..then another time, slurred speech, and the next time, sign is around his neck, and slurring while spouting off about having parkinsons…Last week he was doing his act..it was about 9pm..I guess he decided he was done for the day. He suddenly stopped shaking, took the sign off his neck and started walking normal to a car parked on the side street..One fella was at the grocery store, asked for money saying he is homeless, sleeps at the bus station (said while pointing to the main station across the street) sayin he was hungry..I had no cash, but said I’d get him something to eat..he said ok with an annoyed look..I got him a whole cooked chicken anyways from the publix deli, the hot foods they put out..and a drink and potatoes. He didn’t say thank you. Turned and started to walk away pulled keys out his pocket to open the locked resident-only entry to the condo building across the street to the side of the publix market..I don’t have very much money and am losing my home, by the way. So helping someone with a meal, when I often miss meals cos I just don’t have the money at the time, isn’t just spending some spare change for me. I have more examples I have seen. So yes, there are many people who are faking it.

    5. Grant says:

      Very well said. I wouldn’t mind seeing Bonita Franks with an interview. The has her hair done every day, has a cell phone, and a bank account at Chase! She gives these people that actually need the help and bad name. The sad thing is, I see more people give her money than anyone else and I’m sure it has to do with how presentable she is and not based on how much its “needed” because if she has a cell phone, it’s clearly not needed!

  2. Jeremy says:

    Thanks for posting this. Just shared it with my wife and young son. Really gives a different perspective to those on the streets. We talked about how Christ would treat this man. Thanks for starting the conversation.

  3. Dustin says:

    This is a good video but what is being done about it is there any link to where people can donate money or cloth’s food whatever housing? Anyone willing to hire this man who is crying out for help please god see this man is struggling and feel’s worthless and alone and deserves much better please hear my pray lord and help this man.

  4. Frank says:

    So while you were busy being self-righteous, how much money did you give this person to exploit him?

    1. Patti Notzon says:

      That kind of cynicism is exactly what this piece is about. We are all hardened and rush to judgment when we see a person with two arms and legs standing on a corner with a cup in his/her hand. None of us ever ask ourselves what brought them there. What would we do if we lost everything? Our spouse? Our child/ren? Our livelihood? Our home? Losing just one of these can lead to the loss of all of them.
      Have you ever tried to apply for a job when you’re homeless? Where do you shower and launder your clothes to prepare for the interview? Where should you tell them that they can reach you?
      You may not want to hear this this, but Jesus cautioned that by the measure that you judge, so will you be judged. Not one thing you have is yours, not even the very breath you breathe, but He that created you. Personally, I’d like to know if we have any information on how to reach this humble man, I’d like to help.
      I notice you (while you were commenting on another’s self-righteousness) didn’t enquire about helping?

        1. Renee says:

          Bird, that is such a privileged mindset. First of all, where is he going to get the $10? He cant just whip that out of his billfold. Im sure he’d like to..oh…maybe EAT that day. Also, even if he DID get the $10…Ive personally never seen a place that offers a $10/mo gym membership! But let’s for the sake of argument say that he can find one. He needs to save up for interview clothing because he cant go into an interview in the same clothes he’s been rolling around on the ground trying to sleep in. BUT, this is all supposing that the people running the place even LET HIM IN! So many people with their subtle and not so subtle classism and racism wouldn’t even give this man the time of day let alone give him a membership. Why dont you think about THOSE things before you just whip out these ablist, classist, privililaged solutions of yours.

          1. Bird says:

            Renee renee renee.I sense a bit of skepticism from you. I was only giving a idea. If I wanted to be threatened online, I would have asked for it.. Perhaps you should join the anti-bully-forum.com. Renee, do your research. My advice might come in handy for you one day as well. The average beggar can make more than the average McDonald employee a day in getting change from randoms. There is many areas in Chicago that donates free food and clothing. Also, there is many bins which I too also donate to which is filled with descent clothes. It’s a fact!

            Renee, perhaps you should live your life in his shoes. I’m sure you will obtain some common sense to survive.

          2. FinePrint says:

            For Luis: You might want to read the fineprint on the planetfitness website. I had a gym plan that was $9.95 a month but I had to put down $199. Granted the sign up fee is reasonable at planet fitness but I doubt this man has a checking account to set up monthly payments.

            What Do You Get For $10? No Lunks!

            A Low $39.00 Start Up Fee
            Only $10.00 per month

            Plus applicable taxes.Billed monthly to a checking account. Annual Membership Fee of $29.00 plus applicable taxes will be billed on or shortly after October 1st

        2. Magic says:

          Hey Bird. Why are you on here trying to sound intelligent? Do you feel good telling Renee off? Are you saying you can survive better than this gentleman can? Stop trolling on sites to make you feel superior. Talking down from your 1st world elitism. You are sad and pathetic.

          1. sc says:

            agree with you on the absurdity of telling a homeless person to “get a gym membership”…or “get a job”…how ?? he doesnt have an address or phone number to leave…and his appearance is less than satisfactory…especially in todays economy and jobless society…how would he compete?? unless some kind soul lifts him up by giving him a job and place to stay until he is on his feet, it is pretty much hopeless..maybe our way to help is to make this video go “viral” on fb…then maybe someone with the means to help will hire him and help him out in his area…prayer helps too…i pray someone helps him after seeing this…

        3. Boots says:

          That is a thoughtless and ignorant “solution” and it is this attitude that allowed this problem to develop and continue. Get off your high horse and educate yourself about how things work in the real world.

        4. manthony says:

          It is NOT that simple. You clearly don’t know what it is like to live on the street. I have been homeless before. Through perseverance, I managed to use an address and receive phone messages from a friend. Fast forward a year > I now work for extremely wealthy people. I was lucky enough to have someone care about me. This man needs compassion not a quick fix.

        1. Hannah says:

          Bird, you weren’t only giving an idea. You were condescending about a very real problem “This is simple”. Giving an idea might look like: “cheap gym memberships ($10/month) could be a good way of having a shower, I wonder if these guys know about those?” All of my gym memberships have involved filling out a form with name, phone, address, email, and providing bank details which is probably an insurmountable obstacle for these guys. Does providing bank details when you don’t have a bank account sound simple to you? I’ve also never seen $10/month but I live in Australia and am not familiar with US membership costs. (Gina, I am trying to reply to bird but there wasn’t a reply on that comment)

  5. Bruce says:

    C’mon Jeremy…just look at how Christ IS treating the poor guy! How anyone can look at this man and then believe that there’s a God is beyond me.

      1. Jeremy says:

        Seems a somewhat harsh response to a simple statement about how the video affected me and my family. Is there no tolerance in your mind for statements about my beliefs or the beliefs of others? I’m asking because tolerance of differing views often seems to include everything but Christ, as your post shows.

        1. Tyler says:

          Jeremy, when you state your beliefs in a public forum they are open for dialogue. If someone thinks your beliefs are unwarranted or invalid, they have the right to challenge them. Religion is no exception. Everything should be scrutinized/ridiculed thats how we progress as a race. Do you not think that most moral advances have been made by societal pressure to change. If anything, religion is slowing progress. And to attribute any good deed done by people due to religion discredits the person who made it actually happen.

          1. Chris says:

            “Everything should be scrutinized/ridiculed, that’s how we progress as a race”. A far leap from Socrates, “The unexamined life is not worth living”. One egocentric, the other contemplative. Then again, if progress is the highest good, we probably shouldn’t quote from antiquity.

          2. Jeremy says:

            I actually agree with you Tyler. Being that they are posted publically, they are open for dialogue. It seems, however, that dialogue, as in reasoning back and forth to gain understanding, is not the norm. Instead, immaturity reigns as people mock and demean comments made by others, more like middle-schoolers than deep thinking adults. Odd that it seems to always be targeted to Christians, don’t you think? This comment thread is a microcosm of what I seem to find time and again (notice that the snarky remarks were made to those who made any reference to God / the Lord / Christ, etc. Thougts?

        1. Jessica says:

          I have a house, food, an education, loving and supporting friends and family…and I’m an atheist. Are you saying that someone like me, who rejects the claims of the existence of God and Jesus as a prophet, deserves more pity than this man? That you’re more sorry for my situation than his situation? That I need more help than him?

          If that’s what you’re saying, then I think you’re the one who needs help. You need help to see that other people believing in Jesus doesn’t matter. Other people believing in God doesn’t matter. Believing in PEOPLE matters. Believing in HUMANITY matters.

          But go ahead. Pity those of us who reject your faith instead of actually helping someone who’s in need.

          P.S. Irena is right. Jesus is dead and he ain’t coming back. The sooner we all realize that, the sooner we can actually do some good in this world instead of just praying about it.

          1. James says:

            Faith based organizations have a long standing tradition of being the first “on the ground” in disasters, make up the primary percent of volunteer relief in the states and abroad, and pour in more money to help the homeless and in need than all the other groups combined. Many homeless folks rely on churches and Christian organizations that provide meals, showers, fresh clothes and even help them with getting jobs. I know, I was involved with a couple of these groups. I would argue that those of us who follow Christ ARE actually doing some good, not just praying about it. Don’t get me wrong, we’re not the only ones, but I find your statement ironic when the folks you are criticizing represent the vast majority of volunteer efforts in humanitarian needs.

          2. Irena M says:

            @ Judith: That’s OK Judith! We unnecessarily switched the discussion from plight of homeless people to the faith.
            During 20+ years working in the city hospital I had seen hundreds of hundreds homeless people brought to the ER from streets and shelters of NYC. I would safely say that over 90% of them were well educated, smart and kind people. They just made, at some point of their life, a very bad decisions. Let it be alcohol, drugs, violent behavior or mental illness and they weren’t quick enough to admit it and seek help. Even though the help was offered.
            So my point was and it is: they don’t need our prayers, they need what I would call “materialistic help”.
            We need to give them rehab, medical care, medication and a ray of hope “that they can make it and we can help them”.
            That’s all I wanna say.

          3. Jessica says:

            James, while Christian organizations and churches provide a lot of help to those in need, which is great, that help comes at a price. What’s that price? Faith. I run a secular club at my university and one of my members told us how he was homeless for two years. The only way he could ever eat through these supposedly selfless organizations was if he attended their church services. Attending these services was mandatory in order for him to eat, to survive. How is that right? How is that selfless? I’m sure not all are like that, but my friend was homeless for two years and said he NEVER encountered an organization that didn’t mandate some sort of faith requirement in order to receive their services.

            Christianity provides the majority of volunteer efforts, yes. However, taking advantage of one’s dire situation in order to expand a religion is absolutely horrific.

            But I do commend those who selflessly help others without adding their faith as a catch. God doesn’t save people. People save people.

          4. James says:

            Jessica-

            None of the churches or ministries I know of require any faith-related anything to receive services. They offer it, but it’s definitely not required. I’m not saying their aren’t churches with perhaps good intentions but terrible actions. As a whole, Christians are not trying to “[take] advantage of one’s dire situation in order to expand a religion.” We are trying to demonstrate love through actions and provide for the needs of others based on what both the old and new testaments teaches. That said, would I take a chance to share what I believe if it presented itself while I was serving people? Of course. I also do it in any other setting in my life where a good opportunity comes up.

            It’s like atheist and fairly stark hater of religion Penn Jillette of the Penn and Teller act explains (a bit long, but he says it well):

            “I’ve always said that I don’t respect people who don’t proselytize. I don’t respect that at all. If you believe that there’s a heaven and a hell, and people could be going to hell or not getting eternal life, and you think that it’s not really worth telling them this because it would make it socially awkward—and atheists who think people shouldn’t proselytize and who say just leave me along and keep your religion to yourself—how much do you have to hate somebody to not proselytize? How much do you have to hate somebody to believe everlasting life is possible and not tell them that?

            “I mean, if I believed, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that a truck was coming at you, and you didn’t believe that truck was bearing down on you, there is a certain point where I tackle you. And this is more important than that.”

            It’s not about winning an argument for us (well, for some of us I’m sure it is). It’s about believing that this is a real issue and wanting you to know and understand out of love for you. Regardless of if you believe it, hopefully you can understand that.

        2. Irena M says:

          Hi,
          It’s me! Thanks but no thanks. I don’t need your pity. I’m fine without your sorrow. Save it for your priests who abuse the little boys.
          btw: if you saw recently Christ, send me his picture, please….

          1. Judith Makinson says:

            Sorry if I offended you, Irena M. I retract my statement of pitying you…. I was just defending Jesus and he doesn`t need my defense.

            Don`t assume I`m Catholic. I`m not and never have been. I don`t wear any label….just love and depend on Jesus.

            Have a nice rest of the day1!

    1. Andrew says:

      Bruce,

      Like the homeless man said “May God have mercy on your soul.” Choosing to believe in God or not is your decision, but I hope he has mercy on you.

    2. Teresa says:

      Wait a minute…Christ taught people to care for the poor…he never said he WAS God…that’s theology that developed later. As for saying there is no
      “God” because suffering exists…well, what about all the good things–the beauty, the love, the joy?

    3. Mat says:

      “Those who look at the world, see everything that is wrong and negative with it and asks the question – Why oh why God have you done this – it is them who needs to be fixed. Those who look at the world and see all that is wrong/negative and work to fix it – Bless them for they have truly found what God has left for us to finish.” – Anonymous -

      Skepticism only breeds more ignorance mate.

    4. Hanane says:

      I am a Muslim and we also believe in Christ but Allah/God exists and these are test of life. Some have a good life and forget about the creator of all things and others have a tough life and forget too. In the hereafter his life, if he hasn’t made any big sins, will be good. Our life on earth is temporarly and we have to always say thank you to Allah/God… good or bad that may happen to us.

      People who have a good life are also being tested. Do you give to the poor, do you pray to Allah/God, do you try to do good. Because you are blessed it is your responsibilty to help other who are less fortunate. But most people, just pass by such a man and give an old/eaten sandwich or just a dollar or less. Do not forget Allah/God gave and he can take back. It is good to remember that you are fortunate and help with even as little as you have others.

      I feel sorry for this man but I life to far away but we have enough homeless people in Holland too. This was a good reminder that I should never stop helping others. Stop chasing only the “Dunya”/worldly materialistic stuff.

      Ciao,
      Hanane

      1. kg says:

        How the Fuc* did Jesus find guys with the names john, james, matthew, andrew, philip. thomas, and simon in the middle east? clueless religious people

    5. elaina says:

      God gave His son to save poor, miserable wretches like you and me. That man is an opportunity for you to go and do likewise. Each morning you get up, breathing a breath that you did not produce, using lungs that you did form, using muscles, bones, legs and arms that you did not design nor enable to move, and then you eat food that you did not plant, water, or grow. You may have a job that you did not provide, a family that your best efforts will not keep healthy, safe, or sane when there is disease or God-less men like yourself lurking about. And you wonder where God is or why people believe in Him or believe that He is loving. He spared you just to give you a chance to wake up before it is too late. He is all around you and so are His blessings. Count your blessings, all those good things in life that you had nothing to do with or did not make happen, and you will see His love for you. And by the way, would you do more for this man were he in your city? Maybe you’ve passed him by yourself without lifting a finger to help him. What about it?

  6. Buck says:

    i may be one of those callous people, but once i saw that cigarette in his hand, all sympathy went out the window. have you seen the price of cigarettes lately? so he’s taking the money people give him and spending it to kill himself and pollute the air around him. i’ll keep walking by

    1. Shy says:

      Not saying that it’s the case here, but back when I was a smoker, some people asking for money on the street would ask me for a cigarette instead if they saw me smoking.

    2. Bee says:

      Heaven forbid the homeless man should allow himself a treat of a smoke. Yeah, it’s bad for your health, yada yada yada, but if he enjoys it and it’s one small pleasure in his otherwise pretty shitty life, I don’t see what’s wrong with that.

      1. L says:

        But that’s where the whole point has been missed. Very few successful people make it to where they are due to the sacrifices they made along the way. Yes, his life is probably quite shitty, but by continuing down the same track, he’ll only reach the same stations he’s already been at. He could easily sell that cigarette to someone on the street for $0.50, and more likely could get $1 out of it. The same goes for the comment about how he would probably like to eat today, instead of taking $10 for a month long gym membership where he could shower, shave, and get cleaned up for an interview. Eating is nice, and necessary, but most people I know can go over 24 hours without eating, myself, I’ve gone around 72 hours, and not for some crazy diet or religious fast, but because I had a deadline that needed to be met. Yeah, it sucked, but I saw my job at the time, and the future it would lead to as something worthy of that sacrifice.

        1. Gus says:

          WOw work 72 hrs no food. I like your work ethic. You can come work for me. I’ll pay you in cigarettes!

        2. kidneysc says:

          Who the heck would buy a single smoke from a homeless person for $0.50? Your entire paragraph is ridiculous. And I’m ridiculous for bothering to respond.

    3. James B says:

      More than the dollar, the man wants some kind of acknowledgement that we are the same. When he asks for a cigarette (assuming somebody didn’t just offer it), he is more likely to get it and feel that kindness. That said, I’m sure he’d prefer a dollar.

    4. Tyrone says:

      Buck, im sure you get plenty of handouts from your family, friends, parents, etc etc/.. Perhaps you should stop sharting in public.. The methane coming out of ur anus is dreadful!

    5. Kat says:

      I have noticed that smokers are very willing to give cigs to complete strangers, and the nicotine is an appetite suppressant, so if you aren’t getting a lot of food to eat, and strangers are likely to give you a cigarette, it’s understandable that many homeless people smoke. I sometimes see homeless people pick up a discarded, but still lit, cigarette that someone tosses. I usually never see them with an actual pack, but I wouldn’t be surprised if some of them pool money together and split a pack. Between 3 people, a pack of cigs would cost less than a meal for each of them.

    6. Lillian says:

      maybe he found a butt on the floor, you can’t assume he used money to buy cigarettes, besides sometimes that’s what people offer them unfortunately. Pray you are never in a situation like this man is :(

    7. James says:

      A lot of times, homeless folks will go to outdoor restaurants and check their ashtrays for cigs with some burn left in them. A homeless man I spent some time with one day dipped into several to check, and found some surprisingly lengthy ones still left behind.

    8. Loretta says:

      I noticed that too, Buck, and kind of thought the same thing. But, to give him the benefit of the doubt, we don’t know where he got it. In the beginning he insinuated that the people who were talking to him gave him food [he said "people give me a sandwich like this"], so maybe they also gave him a cigarette, in exchange for the interview.

    1. Patti Notzon says:

      God bless you Christie. See, all she wants to know, is where to look for him so she can help out!

    2. Ben says:

      Yep, he’s standing across the street from Union Station – the door you see people going in behind him is the entrance to the skybridge that goes across the street into the Ogilvie Transporation Center.

    3. Steven K says:

      Well said, Hannah-I lost my job in Automotive Marketing in June 2008 when gas went from $2.75 to over $4 per gallon over Memorial Day Weekends. I am considering panhandling, and I do have nice professional clothes & outerwear. I sacrificed my social life & I graduated @ the top of my college class 3.8 Marketing and gave up my social life after High School This workaholic syndrome continued until I was laid off (without even being offered a significant pay-cut option). I had to eat food out of a garbage can, had no Milk, Eggs, Bread, Juice,OR Cheese in The Fridge 1 year before I got food stamps
      (I sacrificed my social life, as a 55 hour worker drone coming in on Saturday’s to help “The Corporations’s ,”my Clients”, gain a strategic competitive edge (1st one “in”- “last one “Out” of The Agency building). Age Discrimination for 40+ year olds is rampant & unjust. I was allowed face to face interviews and The Industry would embraced in meeting The Hiring Managers in person; following college. I have no income, no medical insurance, Lost my retirement money,and it is a daily struggle of pain management. I have had 4 major Traumas and I struggle to pay PACE Paratransit using scraped up change to get a ride to my numerous Charity Dr.s, but my RX medical total per month is on my credit card & likely won’t get paid ( My monthly Dr. visits; including essential prescription medications total &175 which has gotten me way flipped around on cash management for monthly medication. I would welcome a lead on an Ad Agency/Wireless/Pharma/QSR Or Automotive Marketing even towards an Internship! It’s just not happening H.R and I was & am great leader , prior to the crashing financial depression of The September Banking Bailouts which received a 60% subsidy to pay their Cobra; Meanwhile, if you lost your job prior-basically slighted by the random date of September 2008 while then I had to pay the full COBRA ramp-but not The September Bankers that had to leave their jobs, unemployment extension was cut-off with no notice. I paid full price over 2 years of COBRA & was then dropped by my previous employer’s H.R. With no unemployment income, I stretched my INDIVIDUAL $444 per month out, had a left shoulder surgery, and paid premium for 4 more months because I was compelled to make a dreadful budget cut. Perhaps. someone is a follower of Jesus Christ & as an instrument of God, as I am in need of an ankle surgery (4 weeks of plaster boot and no one will “help” me + 3rd attempt to “fix” my damaged right knee.

      (Not a representative sample)75% of the persons receiving The Monthly Medicaid Cards are in better shape than I am; according to my Dr. Suing Social Security Disability denied 1st round, but I smell Government Collusion to minimize granting early disability to anyone. Pat Quinn better accept The Jan 1st 2014 millions of Federal bailout of Medicaid Regardless, read Pat Quinn-’s budget’s judge for yourself- No re-election here! Also, none of you have petitioned Sen Dick Durbin Mark Kirk? I e-mailed, left phone messages on important issues Immigration Reform Act, & NOW Obama is willing to sell-out our retirement by changing the current structure to an “Chained-CPI” Call & E-Mail You are against changing to the proposed Chained-CPI. Thank You to those who give to the poor & elderly via random acts of kindness. Get politically active, walk with The Spirit of Faith, Hope, and Love towards everyone and Global Peace. Also, I have prayed for Ronald Davis to be lifted back up on his feet and suffer no more poverty after witnessing “his story”-Happy Endings are ALWAYS possible!

  7. Cyndi says:

    He didn’t buy any cigarettes. I love tobacco. Tt is one of the few
    pleasures left in life and soothes the nerves for poor people. While
    you hop in your clean new car and head to the mall and then to lunch at
    your yuppie spot this man has no pleasure except that cigarette. You
    moron–Everbody has a vice. Yours just happens to be more expensive and
    you don’t even realize what your vice is. Self righteous creep. I would
    love to blow a fresh puff of cigarette smoke in your yuppie face!

  8. Edwin says:

    It’s hard to tell the difference between the homeless people that need our help and are trying to get their life together like this ma and the conmen like those that hang around my college town tricking good-hearted individuals into giving them money. The latter gives the former a terrible name, and truly makes it harder for those REALLY in need to get the care and attention that they deserve. If policy-makers want to make things better, they need to address the fact that conmen NEED TO BE TAKEN OFF THE STREET in order for people to trust again. IT LITERALLY MAKES PEOPLE CYNICAL OF ALL HOMELESS PEOPLE WHEN A PERSON WHO SHALL REMAIN NAMELESS SITS OUTSIDE A CVS IN EVANSTON BEGGING FOR MONEY AND LATER, YOU SEE THE SAME PERSON TALKING ON HIS BRAND SPANKING NEW iPHONE – or when you give a man change, he says it isn’t enough, so you give him more, and he still says it isn’t enough, and when you can’t give him anymore, he angrily walks away and picks up a call on one of the 6 cell phones around his back – or when a guy is selling his “LAST ISSUE OF STREETWISE” and you try to help him out and buy his last issue, but it turns out that he isn’t selling streetwise: He either stole or bought it just to use as bait. So, as hopefully apparent to all reading this, SOMETHING NEEDS TO BE DONE IN EVANSTON ASAP.

  9. KL says:

    If he has a mental illness, which is common among homeless people, smoking might be helping him function. Besides calming, it can help organize your thoughts if you have schizophrenia or a related disease. Give him a break.

  10. Cammy says:

    Moving story. However, from the various responses here it seems that atheists are very quick to put in their 2 cents worth when it comes to anyone having a different view to them. Funny how intolerant they actually are of other folks beliefs – and they called themselves ‘enlightened’.

    1. Bobby says:

      And yet you perpetuate this atheist/Christian rant on a post that has nothing to do with that taking away from a very real problem. Save it for a religious debate forum.

    2. Jordan says:

      It works both ways, but to be honest they do seem to get it the worst. It is unfair to the more open minded religious people.

  11. CALV1N says:

    In todays times a lot of us are living paycheck to paycheck. Any change of events can place us in this mans shoes. Find in your heart compassion for one another. I pray this mans strength that he be delivered from this time in his life. I pray that if you read this, you do the same.

  12. Bird says:

    You have to look at it this way. Everyone is in a situation for a reason. We don’t know this persons situation, so obviously we cannot judge. Although he looks as he is sincerely in pain, I still don’t think we should give him sympathy. I’ve known people who have been through the same situation as him. They try their best to stay of the streets and beg. They instead try to look up jobs here and there: windows washing, going business to business asking If they need any janitorial work etc etc. It’s also not that hard to get a $10 gym membership to wash up and take care of yourself.

    Life is hard for everyone. Everyone works hard. Don’t let booze and drugs get in the way! Lottery is a false presentation for hope. Stay away from it religiously. Once in a while is good.
    Granted if I see this man on the street, I will probably spare him some change. But I will never ever disrespect any human being no matter who they are or what they did.
    To gain respect, you must give respect. I truly think begging is asking to be frowned upon.

  13. liz says:

    If anyone finds this man and wants to assist him I will be glad to help!
    Please contact me at lizlondonartist at yahoo.com.
    I live in dallas and if we can get him here there is a wonderful homeless place that this man can get all of the help he needs!
    It is called the Bridge and that is exactly what it does it bridges people back into the mainstream with tools and resources to start over!
    Wonderful project!
    please email and I will provide a bus ticket to this man if he wants to come to Dallas!!
    Best and god bless everyone regardless of your faith or not!
    Liz London

    1. L says:

      Do you honestly think the third largest city in the country dedicates no resources to its homeless population? Also, this is a mostly Catholic city, that also has one of the largest Muslim populations in the country, both groups (neither of which I am a part of) dedicate extensive resources to support the needy. Besides the fact the same people, no matter as much as they will protest otherwise, don’t actually want to be responsible and accountable to others. There are plenty of agriculture / meat processing (you know, all those jobs Americans refuse to do) jobs available only 2-3 hours outside of the city, and plenty of cheap trailers that can be rented.

  14. Diana says:

    Maybe street wise can help him get a job. I’ve actually volunteered their before and they do a great job in assisting the homeless. If anyone finds this man, let him know.

  15. Mat says:

    man every time i was walking thru chicago before and after class to get home using the train – if i saw a homeless man – never had no money to give them but i gladly gave them food. I remember once there was a guy sleeping on the bridge. I went up to him and placed something beside him accidentally just touching him – he got startled awake and thought i was going to attack him or kick him or hit him. I will never forget the look on his face. You know most people would have saw him, piercings, tattoos everywhere, looked like an ex-con – but he was lying on that bridge with old raggety clothes and a raggety blanket. When he noticed i had come to give him food – everything i had in the day i didnt eat – the look on his eyes – the thanks that i saw. I saw for the first time behind the layers of what most humans consider judgmentally a convict, i saw the human being. I saw his very soul shouting out thanks. That is a moment i will treasure for the rest of my life.
    Please people, help them out. Dont over look them. It is you blessing and fortune that you have so much, while others may have next to nothing. Please, at least for the love of God, leave them some dignity.

  16. Rick says:

    I have been caring for the homeless going on six years. This man’s story reflects many stories that I have heard first hand. The issue of homelessness is complex and the reasons that people end up on the streets is extermely diverse. It is so easy to judge these people with our world view, such as the commentary about this man smoking a cigarette. If you knew that the concrete of a sidewalk was going to be your bed, wouldn’t the frustration, humiliation, and pain of that reality cause you do want to numb your emotions? Many who end up on the streets are alcoholics and addicts, but many are not. Still thesee vices are present within the homeless communities just as they are in suburbia for all the same reasons. The key point of this man’s story is that he is fully human and he wishes that others would not pass judgement on him, and treat him with respect. If humanity could come together and treat each other as he desires to be treated, the world would be a better place, but as many of the post here indicate, we have along way to go.

  17. MistaG says:

    This guy has a touching story. It’s very difficult for me to see a grown man so distraught by the fact that he is frequently viewed as nothing but a piece of trash. I feel like this man is more in touch with the natural world than most of the people that walk past him daily. He values a warm place to sleep at night, or a simple courtesy, more than many people today value their entire lives. In our commercial world so many people live for money, status and power, none of which will ultimately provide anyone with the satisfaction that this man receives from a simple kind-hearted human interaction. To me, this video exemplifies what we should be seeking in life, and what we should think of as valuable. Survival first, but then simple and mutual respect for our fellow brothers and sisters in life.

    1. L says:

      Yeah, same with most rural communities in Illinois, a lot of which can be reached from either of the two train stations he stands outside of everyday.

  18. Charley says:

    Hey Bird,

    I hope you never find yourself without a job because you don’t have the best command of the written language.

    “There is many areas in Chicago that donates free food and clothing. Also, there is many bins which I too also donate to which is filled with descent clothes. It’s a fact!”

    The correct wording should be “there are many.” (I’m just correcting your language. I don’t agree with your view that there are many resources available for the homeless.)

  19. Tammi D says:

    This is just so sad to me, it is heartbreaking that this man really wants to better his life, but he can’t due to being homeless. He wouldn’t even be able to get a free government phone because he doesn’t have an address they can send it to. I have been homeless multiple times, however I was fortunate enough to have my disability check to help me. I still had some clothes and blankets usually, but I try to help the homeless when ever I can. A lot of people think that all people are homeless because of drug habits or whatever. However that is not always the case, especially in this economy. I was homeless because I had no family who could or would help me, I could not work due to many physical and health issues, and I did not ever have the money for a security deposit for an apartment. Even now, I am low income, but I still have some nice things, but everything I have came second hand or from the dollar store. There is an old saying like everyone should live by… “Don’t Judge A Book By Its Cover!!!”

  20. Nic says:

    Instead of arguing back and forth can we bring it back to a method for helping this guy? Are there any people in the Chicago area that would be willing to take him in and we can donate money, food, and supplies to get him a job, and some temporary shelter until he’s back on his feet? I guarantee you it wouldn’t take more than 5K to change this mans life forever–this is what the internet is supposed to be for.

  21. Nic says:

    Ivan thank you for bringing the conversation back to where it needs to be. I plan on sharing your page. Let’s try to knock that $500 figure out of the park.

  22. Mark says:

    There is a LOT of ignorance being spouted here, mostly from the feel-good people who are busy gushing over a sad homeless man.

    I’ve worked in homeless outreach for 10 years. This video clip is touching but we are not given this man’s background. How did he become homeless? Is he an addict? Does he have mental health issues? Was he fleeing abuse? Is he just down on his luck? This video is OBJECTIFYING homelessness so that we can have an emotional reaction, without even telling us more about this man.

    It’s undoubtedly hard being at the lowest point on the economic ladder. The problem is that a lot of the comments here oversimplify the situation. There ARE services to help this man. They won’t turn him into a middle class person, but they will help to achieve subsistence. There are places that will give him a meal and house him every night in the winter. It looks like he’s in an American city, which means there are services available to him.

    There are shelters that will look at his qualifications and find him work, even if it’s just cleaning parks or washing floors. He can use the shelter address and phone number when he applies. Shelters partner with employers who aren’t discriminatory.

    Simply tossing money at him might not change his situation, because we aren’t being told his full story. If he’s an addict then money will be poison. I’ve seen it a million times.

    People want to help this man without really knowing his history because it makes them feel good about themselves, but in shelters we always consider what is the “best medicine” for people like Davis. Direct cash is part of the problem that enables people to remain homeless. If he’s an addict then your money could contribute to his self-destruction because it’s not getting to the root of his problem.

    If you really want to help this man then donate to shelters and services that are qualified to provide him with the most appropriate form of assistance. Most homeless people are not homeless because they are being rebellious or anti-establishment; they are there because they made unfortunate life choices that set them down the wrong path. In order to restore them you need to address the cause of their homelessness, especially if substance abuse is involved. We don’t know in this case because the video is a snapshot.

    I strongly recommend that everyone reflect on the sheer lack of information in this video before they jump to donating large sums of money to this person. Like he said, he’s a human being. Think about how enabling money can be to a person’s problem when you don’t really know them.

  23. shawn says:

    Mark – You seem to be objectifying every (potential) aspect of this man. Admittedly, we know nothing about him other than this interview. That being said, neither do you. I would much rather error on the side of, to the best of my ability, helping this man get a square meal / place to sleep for the night than try and quantify and analyze every aspect of him. Are you so superior to all of us on this board to realize that you missed the very point that this man is making in the < 4 minute video? Ok, I'll spell it out for you – He just wants to be treated as a human being first that has very basic needs to eat, sleep, feel loved / wanted, and with some modicum of dignity for simply walking the earth among those of us that are much more privileged than him, materially at least. To your point, we don't know enough about him or his story to treat him as anything less than a human being with some basic level of respect and care.

  24. Chris says:

    I think a lot of the negative comments in here are spewing from callous, cynical people that are missing the entire point of what this man is saying. He’s not begging for help in this video, he’s merely saying that he is trying to get his life together and all he is asking for is common courtesy and humaneness. You do not have the right to call someone something disrespectful, you also have no business saying you know exactly how he could turn his life around if he just used the “services we provide for them.” BS. Our services are a joke and this country has incredibly low support for helping those in poverty. We all enter and leave this tiny little speck in space the same way, so get off your high horse and show compassion to your fellow man.

  25. Mark says:

    This just tears at me. I want so badly to help people like Ronald. I do what I can as a college student. Mostly, I always try to give them respect, and have a chat.
    I have a family friend, and she taught her young children that homeless folks are “Fallen Kings and Queens,” and I just love this moniker because it’s so real and recognizes their humanity. Who knows where they have come from? Her young child sometimes says, “Mommy, can I give a dollar to the Fallen Queen?” and someday, when I have children, I want to teach them the same.

  26. chris says:

    Funny how a video meant to inspire mercy with some of you lot has turned into dehumanizing and idiotic attacks.

  27. Sjaak says:

    It’s good to see so many comments on this topic, whether they be negative or positive. Evreybody has the right to think what he wants.

    What strikes me most is that humanity is capable of cloning, sending a man to the moon, we can 3d print most of what we don’t need, we can grow ears on mouses, we can see a billion miles into space and much much more. It saddens me that we can do all that, but we cannot solve this problem.

    Yet, I refuse to stop hoping. When a movie like this can cause so many people to get emotional, there is reason to hope.

  28. lina says:

    Some of you are arguing for nothing….what is important is that this man gets the help he needs/deserves… you can all assume whatever u want about him that is your choice…. i for one would help him….i would help anyone in need..if the person is dishonest he/ she would have to live with that but it would not stop me from helping….this story is workung its way throwout the world…sudbury ontario canada so far….if theres a way to help him out let me know…be good everyone no need to be nasty

  29. Dan says:

    I was walking the street with an old friend who used to be homeless (drugs and bad decisions got him there) and we walked past a homeless person. I gave the guy 10 dollars and when we took no less than 5 steps he said to me, “Why did you do that? You should never give a homeless person money. They got there by burning every bridge that they ever had. Friends, family, the works.” Hard for me to swallow, but he was adamant about not giving a homeless person money. He also said, “10 dollars will only get him through the day, and will never get him off the street. You aren’t really doing much for the guy unless you get him a job, new clothes and the first month for a place to live.”

    I didn’t have NEARLY enough (money or influence) to get the guy the things he really needed. People here are talking about helping a homeless person by digging into their pocket, but it will take STICKING YOUR NECK OUT for a stranger to really help them.

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  31. Jo says:

    While riding the subway one evening, a panhandler enters to make his plea. And like most people, i remained focused on my newspaper. But as he got near, he got to the part where he was resigned to not getting any handouts from this car but would anyone just give him a smile at least? So human interaction is the least one can do, and it goes a long way for the soul.

  32. Kim says:

    There are so many comments re: scammers and con artists… but follow YOUR OWN HEART and do what God touches YOU to do for others – remember, Jesus was homeless too and walked amongst the poor… don’t worry about what they do with your donation, but it’s the donating heart that is blessed…

  33. G says:

    Each new day we are presented with opportunities to be a blessing to another fellow man and that may look different for each… )like that man or woman reaching out for a helping hand …), what we do with that opportunity is up to each one of us, and it will not go unnoticed by the Master Creator who see’s us. Even the attitude in which we give is important. Pause and think for a brief moment to connect with the heart of God concerning the situation that is before you, and give as you are directed to. Give not grudgingly, Give according to you ability to give, Give cheerfully and with a heart of thanksgiving for what you have been blessed with. At the end of the day. Well done !!

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