Saturday, December 26, 2009

Hunter and the Jo...



Well I hope everyone had a happy holiday.. now it's time to get back to life in Interior Alaska..

Something that I never really realized till I came here to visit last summer is that Alaska has a huge homeless population. HUGE. Anchorage and Fairbanks are the centers to that problem, however there are small cities such as Nome even reporting homeless citizens. Almost every month there is a homeless death reported. A woman just died this weekend in a homeless camp.

I see this guy almost everyday. Corner of Hunter and the Jo Expressway. I respect him. You can tell that he has some sense of dignity, because I've never seen him move from this exact spot. There is a man who stands on the corner near Fred Meyer who jumps out in front of cars and gets so close to the road you can hardly turn without almost hitting him.

But this man... he never moves. He sometimes waves. He gives passing cars smiles. But he never tries to scare anyone. He just stands and waits.. Waiting for his ship to come in.

Sometimes I want to roll down my window and ask him his name. How he got to this corner. What made him end up where he is. I want to know what this man is all about.

I look at the cars around us.. and see people purposely looking away.. hoping he doesn't look at him. Hoping some of his homelessness doesn't get on them. But the sad fact is, homelessness doesn't go away here. It's just a fact of life.

But when I look at this man, I see somebody who probably didn't chose to be the guy on the corner at Hunter and the Jo. He is someone's son. Someone who probably thinks that nobody cares. To me we are all just one job, one wrong decision, one wrong addiction away from being exactly in his shoes.

So I hope that he has someone out there who showed him a Merry Christmas. I hope that someone had the courage to hold out a hand to him.

Because he's the guy at Hunter and The Jo..

7 comments:

  1. Beautiful and so completely true. I hope you had a very Merry Christmas Roxsee!

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  2. He's been there since we arrived at the end of April (and before probably) and we, too, have wondered about his story.....

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  3. We can't judge a person unless we've walked in their shoes. We don't know what brought them to this place. All we can do is offer kindness...it goes a lot farther than we think.

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  4. This made me sad....I always try to give $$ to the less fortunate. Someone can write a book if they just went around and got the homeless folks stories....

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  5. Such a sad blog Rox.... There are a lot of homeless people in Seattle.... more than I ever saw growing up in the midwest. I don't like to give them money because I don't know if they'll spend it on booze or drugs.... but if I have food with me - I always will give them whatever food I have on me.

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  6. Alaska is a tough place to be homeless--anywhere is a tough place to be homeless--but Alaska, that's a TOUGH place. I agree with you. It could easily be any one of us. There but for fortune...

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