Homeless in Houston

One day, I was walking feeling sorry for myself because there is a recession and I was worried about what would happen and how I would survive. Then I met this man. His name was Ezekiel. He was homeless. He said to me, Do you live near here? ( Why is this homeless guy asking me where I live?), I said, where is your family? He avoided the question and said, Hey! You have an accent1 Where are you from? I said, I am from Jamaica, where are you from? ( Do you believe this? I am there talking to a homeless man, the people walking by must think I am crazy… well I am actually crazy…but even when I was 5 years old I remember my mom taught me not to talk to strangers.).

Ezekiel said he was from Louisiana. So I asked him again, where is your family and why did you come to Houston? Again he avoided my question and told me that he went to Jamaica a long time ago when he went on a cruise… a cruise?!?! He could afford to go on a cruise? Intresting… that means he must have been living a descent lifestyle to be able to go on a cruise. Then he asked me, “Was it 96 degrees in the shade?” (a line from a popular Jamaican song. Do you believe this guy? He was homeless, yet he was there making jokes. Then he asked me again, Do you live near here? Take me home with you! ( ???? is he serious? Am I really having this conversation with a homeless guy?) I said, I wish I could help you man, but I cant. But I will pray for you.

I felt sorry for him. His lips were parched. He was sitting with an empty water bottle and a bible he was reading in his lap. Incidentally, the Bible was opened to the book of Job. Yes I felt sorry for him. So I went to the store nearby and bought him a large bottle of water. He was sitting in 108 degrees Houston heat. No one should have to sit outside in the heat. I wish I could help him. The only thing I could do was pray for him. I told him, sorry I cant help you man, but I will pray for you.

Here I was in America, the richest country in the world, and yet there were homeless people on the street. I bet most people in Jamaica wouldn’t believe me if I told them that America has homeless people. Most Jamaicans who have never travelled, think America is the land where milk and honey flows freely. The land where they pick up money from off the street. The land where everyone attains the American Dream, where everyone has a house, a car, and food to eat. They would never believe me if I told them about Ezeikel.

I felt so ashamed of myself. There I was, feeling sorry for myself when I had a place to live, I had food to eat, I had clean water to drink, I had a job, and people who cared for me. I needed to thank God for the opportunities I had. The thought of being homeless scares me. I pray to God that I will never end up like Ezekiel.

And what about Ezekiel? Well he wouldn’t tell me how he happened to be sitting by the roadside in 108 degrees Houston heat, but the weirdest thing is that he was sitting by the road with these heavy bags. I didn’t see a nearby cart, so someone must have dropped him off there. The next thing is that where he was sitting was an area where there were many homeless shelters and rehab facilities nearby. In this area, some days, I see long lines of homeless people beside the churches. These churches give food to homeless people. There is also a place nearby that helps homeless people find jobs. So I know, eventually Ezekiel would find these places. But I wish there was more I could do.

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