Tale Weaver – #160 – Homelessness

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Image: © Mara Eastern (Used with permission)

Overnight it had snowed again leaving its blanket of wonder for us to play in.

As we ventured out the old man wandered past. His steps were hesitant as he plodded along leaving his oversized boot prints in his wake.

His head bowed I recognised him as the old man who lived in the park, a cardboard box as his home, his possessions in dirty plastic bags packed into the corners of his current box.

I couldn’t imagine how cold it must be for him on nights where the water in the pipes froze, the snow fell, and the freezing winds blew.

But he survived, and mum had often told me he was a man who had occupied his spot in the park for a lot of years. He lived on handouts, the late night coffee van and the generosity of strangers going by.

He never asked for anything, he was not one to beg but preferred to maintain his own sense of silent dignity.

He was often seen around the town on cold mornings I suspected as movement warmed him and kept him functioning.

There were places he went out of habit, the servo on the highway which allowed him to use their toilets, the café on the main street who gave him a coffee each morning and allowed him to use their bathroom to wash up.

The various charities in the town had tried to provide housing for him, but he was such a creature of habit, the outside and his park home was all he wanted.

To today seeing him huddled inside his old woollen coat, covering the layers beneath, gave me reason to be grateful for the roof over my head.

 

Written for: https://mindlovemiserysmenagerie.wordpress.com/2018/02/22/tale-weaver-160-homelessness/

This entry was posted in Uncategorized, Writing prompt and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Tale Weaver – #160 – Homelessness

  1. mandibelle16 says:

    This is really well told. Such sympathy, but also an understanding that this man wants to live the life he knows, with dignity, and doesn’t want rescuing despite the cold. It would make me glaffor my warm bed as well.

  2. Lyn says:

    You have to admire someone who refuses to beg and although he’s homeless, his dignity is obvious. We have a multilevel car park near us, and you often see people sleeping in the stairwell. Every Wednesday, a van from one of the local churches rocks up and serves breakfast (cereal, toast, muffins, eggs, sausages etc coffee/tea/hot chocolate) for them – and anyone else who rocks up. The same van goes to thirteen other locations in the local area too.

  3. This man is indeed dignified. He keeps himself clean (nice that local businesses help him with the basics to do so) and is a bother to no-one.

  4. Mara Eastern says:

    Wow, such a wonderful story! I find myself thinking about those who are homeless especially these days in winter too. So it’s great that you could use my photo for a story that strikes the cord with me!

  5. calmkate says:

    nice one Michael, I have met such gents … they prefer the outdoors over conforming to our standards and who knows why!

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