Homeless For The Holidays

It was the morning of Thanksgiving day and I was sitting at home, at my desk. My daughter was spending the day with her mother so I didn't have any commitments. In great photographer/blogger spirit, I decided not to waste the day and work on a project. The only problem was I didn't have any.

I was browsing through my Facebook news feed when the idea came to me. Everyone was sharing words of appreciation, as they got ready to spend the day with their families. What I noticed was that most were not giving to those who needed it most. So, I decided to help someone in need.

There's a small bridge about 20 minutes (walking) away from my house, that connects Boston with Cambridge. Every time I walk by I notice the same homeless man, sitting there, by himself. I went on a mission to change his Thanksgiving day. Not only by helping him with food & clothes, but also by telling his story.

His name is Jeremy. He married a long time friend of his and had two daughters. After a few years living together, they divorced, and he was forced to live on the street. He never met his father, his only brother is incarcerated and his mother lives in New York, with her new boyfriend (as he put it). He has been homeless for about 2 years (off and on) and refuses to go to a shelter. 

When I first approached Jeremy, I offered to buy him food in return for his time. He politely declined, informing me that he had already received food for the day, but he could use some blankets, socks and clothes. Due to that day being a holiday, it was impossible to locate such items but I did my best thanks to a good friend of mines that tagged along (Thanks Dante Luna!).

"I just want people to know that I'm a person, just like them.
I want a better life for myself like the next guy. I'm not here by choice."

He took me to a his hideout. It's where he keeps his belongings. I promised not to share any pictures that might shed light on the actual location (upon his request). We spoke for about an hour when we got into the topic of his daughters. I was amazed to find out that he still sees them on a weekly basis. His ex-wife meets him at local parks, where he spends time with them. I continued to ask as many question as I could think of, trying to get to the bottom of his story. When I did.... It surprised me. His reason for being homeless is not alcohol or drug abuse, as many may think. It's love.