What George’s Story Looks Like | Interview

Could you ever have guessed my first interview would be my own dad? Meet George (aka Gdog to my girls).

As I sit here typing at 5 in the morning, it’s still pitch black outside…I’m instantly connected to the days when I would see my dad getting up even earlier to start his days. Make sure everything and everyone was squared away…that everything was getting done, he was ready for work, we were all getting to school as we needed to, etc. Loved his jobs, good at his jobs, always on top of house things like laundry and dishes and all of the things. Always moving and on the go and working hard. 

Someone who works that much, and that often, and that hard… how do they end up homeless?

I’m not asking but insisting that you break myth number one now – that the homeless just “need to get a job”. There’s always more to a story. You really never know until you ask.

 

There are different interview formats we conduct and this is for those who have transitioned OUT of homelessness. My dad has been out for a little while now and with the help of a mission (which he doesn’t want me to give credit to because he didn’t like them, lol, he said they were religiously extreme and in some cases I have to agree but I’m still going to mention that because it’s necessary) but he works part time and is doing great living in Norfolk, Va. Finding fresh glass versus sea glass, but nonetheless, HAHA.

INTERVIEW:

Name/nicknames – George – Little Dicky (and then I showed him the Chris Brown and Lil Dicky video and he actually knew who that was hahahahaha)

Born & raised – Hornell, NY, raised in Norfolk, San Diego, Kansas, Hawaii, Hampton Roads (father was in the Navy) then Glen Allen

Favorite job – Sales (pretty good and pretty proud of himself for those sales skills)

What is something you would want people to know about you? I tried to be a better person, a better father, a better employee, a better human being

Was there a specific event or combination of events that led to you finding yourself homeless? Employment, divorce, health issues
(*Article about homelessness and divorce HERE

How did you begin to transition out of homelessness? Social security income retirement, buy a vehicle and then part time work
*Dad mentioned how important the vehicle was. We almost think of getting the job first as being the most important but how can you get to a job without a vehicle, and how you can afford a vehicle without a job? TOUGH.

What are you doing now – living arrangements and work? Apartment, part time, social security

What’s the hardest part about being homeless physically? Poor quality of life feeling bad physically

What’s the hardest part about being homeless emotionally? Hopelessness

What is the best thing that’s happened to you recently? Hanging out with the girls (the mermaid mafia), with my children – impressed by Amanda (okay I lied. I added that part about him being impressed by me. But let’s leave it there:))

Did you ever think you would end up homeless? I used to think it all the time, and fear it all the time

What advice do you have for someone who wants to help or how to approach someone who is homeless? Do not EVER give them money. Ever. Get them the help and things that they need but it’s like feeding a seagull. Do not give them any money. Point them in the direction of a shelter. But do not give them any money.

^That response is very authentically my dad, LOL. Oh George.

I’m SO proud of my Dad for transitioning out how he has but I can completely understand how he ended up where he did. I was pregnant with Ellie when all of this started and I’ve watched him pick the pieces back up and we are so proud of him 🙂 The girls LOVE their Gdog!!!

xoxo, Amanda Hedgepeth 
Follow along on Instagram!
Facebook, too! 
Sign up for our NEWSLETTER here to stay in the loop with STORIES & INSPIRATION on how to help! 
And we’re on Pinterest, too 🙂

This is me literally waiting to hug you and hear your story. Thank you for being BRAVE!

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Immediate Goal: IT COSTS $0 FOR THIS PART

GUYS! We are OVERJOYED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! In a little more than ONE day, one day…ONE…we pulled off picking up over 1000 followers on our Instagram page for Homeless Looks Like on my birthday, launch day! THANK YOU! Thank you SO dearly for that! And for the Facebook likes. And the newsletter signups. And the messages and the love…THANK YOU!

I wanted to drop by here today to explain our IMMEDIATE GOALS because we are having so many people ask about donating right now but I’m SUPER by the book and I just can’t accept anything until we are all the way set up and official. I’m a weenie, I know. But I KNOW the holding off until we are fully set up as an organization in all the right places is the right thing to do AND will be worth it!

RIGHT NOW: We need stories. We need FACES. I PROMISE that the biggest power in making change is to pair an IMAGE (and maybe some Instagram video) with a story. Nothing will make a bigger impact! Think about what goes viral…is it just a written story most of the time? Sometimes, perhaps, but usually an image or video is paired with the story. That combination holds the power to create CHANGE and incite COMPASSION … this is where the connections are made between two seemingly different people, this is where we find out our similarities.

We need stories from:
Those who are currently homeless
Those transitioning out
Those who have fully transitioned out
Those who work in churches that aid the homeless
Those who work do homeless mission work
Those who work in shelters
Those who run non-profits
Those who volunteer for the homeless

We are willing to travel to the DC area, Richmond, Hampton Roads and in NC within 2 hours of the Outer Banks once a month to conduct interviews.

IF YOU HAVE SOMEONE FOR US – EMAIL US!!!! >>> Homelesslookslike@gmail.com

Our first story goes live on Monday. And guess what? Many of you may know this person. If you don’t, you’ll still be shocked about who it is. Trust me, you’ll want to “tune in” and check out the blog on Monday, September 24.

Also – SO EXCITING, next week I travel to Richmond to meet with an incredible non-profit that is doing such good work and transforming lives! What a joy, I’ll keep everyone updated and come back with some stories for you! 🙂

EMAIL ADDRESS: HOMELESSLOOKSLIKE@GMAIL.COM 

xoxo, Amanda Hedgepeth 
Follow along on Instagram!
Facebook, too! 
Sign up for our NEWSLETTER here to stay in the loop with STORIES & INSPIRATION on how to help! 
And we’re on Pinterest, too 🙂

This is me literally waiting to hug you and hear your story. Thank you for being BRAVE!

Here We Go!

If you’re reading this, you’re already a part of what is going to change lives. You showing up means SO MUCH TO US.

THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE!

This idea was born less than a month ago. I had no idea how this would snowball into such a passion project…but it’s gone full speed ahead since and we’re taking you along for the ride. We are going to work very, very hard toward becoming a non-profit so we are able to provide so well for people who need it most… the people who are so often forgotten, the homeless. The voiceless and the invisible. What if I stepped in and shared their story and gave them the chance to have a voice and to be seen? And what’s going to happen when so many people realize how much they have in common with them? We are so much more alike than different.

Here’s a brief intro to let you know what our mission is and what we hope to provide.

MISSION: Our mission is to create CONNECTION and COMPASSION through story telling. We know story telling is powerful because of how we have shared about our family’s story with our community and how it’s affected lives positively and resonated with so many people. From my faith journey to losing a brother to addiction to Dave Ramsey and living the simple life, it all connects with people because stories do that. Story telling in incredibly powerful and we are feeling so compelled to use our story telling abilities to give those who don’t get to tell their story a platform to say this is who I am, this is my story.

I read a quote recently that said “homeless people become a part of the landscape” – regarding how we just literally walk by them like they’re an inanimate object. It broke my heart. I want them to be seen, the people who weren’t as fortunate to have a safety net to back them up when things got rough.

GIVING BACK: We have a few ways we plan to give back from in-person immediate need donations (shoes, socks, clothing, water, food) to making monetary and food/clothing/other donations to shelters and transitional housing that host people who are currently homeless. We’ll be traveling and collecting stories, giving these brave people a voice and place to share their story, and then providing something for them that they currently don’t have but need or would be so grateful for. This is starting small, but we DREAM of being able to provide money toward housing solutions one day. One step at a time, we will keep building this together…Mike, me and the person reading this right now. JUST BY SHOWING UP and spreading the word, you will give someone a better life…and we are thankful for that.

Because we want to do EVERYTHING officially and properly, we can’t accept donations at this time. We want to be able to, trust me! We are doing everything out of pocket right now. But the BEST WAY you can help now is spread the word! Here’s how below!:

Follow on social media :
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AND sign up for our newsletter here! That’s all we ask right now!

Thank you for being a part of this mission with us, pals!

Together we can change the conversation about what homeless looks like.