Nicknames: Clyde (because people call he and his fiance Kisha Bonnie & Clyde…you can read her story HERE)
Born in: Maplewood NJ
When John’s grandpa passed away, he became homeless.
I asked if he liked Richmond, Virginia and he told us he would return to NJ if he could.
Do you talk to your family at all? He told me “they treat me like crap.” He said that they’ll talk to him when something good is happening in their life.
Growing up, John loved school. His favorite subject was math. I told him I totally respect that because I was very, very bad at math, LOL!
When we asked about employment that he previously held, John mentioned that he has a history of holding jobs for longer periods of time. One for seven years, one for ten years.
What is something you would want people to know about you? He mentioned the looks he’s given and how people will just walk right by you. Then John said something that broke my heart…”My grandma told that you choose to be homeless”. He reiterated how he would NEVER choose what is happening to him.
Was there a specific event that led you to becoming homeless or a combination of things? He reminded me it happened when his grandfather passed away from cancer. “My mother had to foreclose on the house. So then instead of my mother getting a three bedroom, she got a two bedroom. That’s when I knew I was homeless.”
John then told us that his family is connected with him on Facebook, and I asked if they knew he was experiencing this and he said “they think this is a joke”.
“Without Kisha, I wouldn’t know what to do.”
That came up without any prompting. He just felt compelled to tell us that.
He said “my mother said (about he and Kisha) ‘it’s y’all against everybody else’” – our team at Homeless Looks Like agrees that with nicknames like Bonnie and Clyde, that description is pretty well fitting 🙂
What’s the hardest part about being homeless physically? John replied, “physically, sleeping in the street. I can’t get no sleep.” I said to John that I know he probably has to look out for he and Kisha’s stuff and he said “I don’t sleep…I let her sleep.” He said he may get a wink in, but he has to watch out for people who may try to rob or hurt you.
Whew…when he said “I let her sleep” – we were just over the moon for him. What a gentleman.
John said emotionally the hardest part of being homeless is not having a “plan B” and not having security. He has always felt a lack of security in his life.
I asked what the best thing to happen to him recently was and he couldn’t think of anything.
Growing up John said he never imagined he would end up homeless.
When I asked if anyone could give him anything right now, what would it be? John said “an apartment”. If they had to give something smaller to him at that exact moment…John said he would like them “just to spend some time” with him.
That is SO John to say something humble and kind like that.
John is so sweet you guys. His voice is so gentle and calm. He’s so incredibly nice. It was a gift to be in his presence for this interview.
What truth would you want people to know about homelessness? “People really treat you like crap… I wish we could trade shoes just for one day and see if you could make it.”
One day at VCU, a woman and a bunch of kids walked by and said out loud “I could only imagine”. I’m not sure you want to, lady. I wish she would have stopped and offered a kind gesture instead of just making her statement, but that is EXACTLY WHY we have started Homeless Looks Like. We want to spread awareness.
What do you want your life to look like one year from now? “To have an apartment, and have a car.”
Want to know what ended up happening with John? If you read our last blog post about his fiance Kisha…you already know! They ARE currently warm and in an apartment!!! Praise Jesus!
Thank you for reading about John and giving him a voice. You insist his story matters just by reading it. You are a big part of what is going to change people’s lives… THANK YOU for showing up for Homeless Looks Like.
Shallow question answers from John HERE: