Haiti, Throat Cancer, Nashville discussed on 4 Things with Amy Brown


The best that humanity has offer but it took an event during that period on the streets to get me to that point and end. I tell people when they ask me about the homeless condition and we hear it all the time they just WanNa be there. They're just lazy or or they're just they just WANNA drink or they just WANNA do drugs. What I found out was no? That's not the case. It wasn't for me. I'm sixty three three years of age. I don't drink don't do drugs. Never have in my entire life but I still ended up on the streets but what I I went through while I was there really started to to tear me down. And that's what people don't understand and I've been off the streets since two thousand fourteen now and my wife will tell you. I still have nightmares. I still have bouts of depression that go back back to that period. Okay so coming up in the second thing I want to hear about your life those five years and what that was like and how we can better try yeah to understand the people that were seeing our friends on the streets. Were passing every day. Maybe if they're on a corner or some that maybe we don't even know out there some that that are looking for shelters 'cause yeah I think there is a some of us are just raised I don't have this outlook but but I know some people listening may have the like you said like well. They should go get a job and you know they probably are drugs. I'm not going to give the money. They're just going to go buy the alcohol with it and you know April. Who is how I was introduced? You are for an April she. I don't know if she got this from you or she just said that. It's one of our meetings. Thanks for the home straight home for the miracle fourth event. She said something. Like I mean y'all if I was homeless I would be drinking too so yeah if they need to go get a drink. I'm going to get him and I was thinking. Gosh you know when my my kids my kids I came from Haiti. I I was so stressed out. I think think I probably had a drink every night. Like glass wine and I'm like is like nothing compared to being on the streets so I would like for you to give us an inside. Look of what your time. I'm was like and what it's like for other so we can really understand and then But before we hop into that. Second thing You you you mentioned it was a roller coaster. You feel like it started back when you were twelve. And then there was ups and downs. You had success. You had failures I. I'm I'm always curious. Like what is that moment. My Dad had some health issues about a year and a half ago and when he was released from the hospital he just was not right. cognitively Medically just all kinds of things and he had throat cancer. Surgery went terribly wrong but my sister and I were there and we have a half brother and half sister and we were all there and family and friends but I am my friend. Mary and I've talked about this a couple of times just with with people that we know like if if if they didn't have us if certain people didn't have their daughters at their kids or their moms their neighbor they're like that had the ability to take you care for you. I don't know like I think my dad could've ended up homeless in not really sort of a delirious like and then he wouldn't have been on the proper meds and then he would be this person that yeah. I pass people on the street sometime. We're I've looked at them now and I'm like Oh my gosh. That could have been my dad bad and they seem totally just not with it and with which is not their fault and But sometimes we can. Just knock that off or just chock it up to maybe drugs and that was it may not be the case. That certainly would not have been if if it wasn't for my dad having having a support group if people don't have a support group that's what happened. So what. Where was your support group? And why. I'm not saying that everybody has to have one. But that's what I want to understand because I come from a family that everybody's there so then sometimes trying to understand and paint a picture for everybody not everybody. Freddie has that no. Excuse me you said something very important when you when you say support group. Here's a couple of things you you touched on a couple of real good points First and foremost When I give the top five causes of homelessness people are always shocked to find out that the the last in that list of five is drug or alcohol abuse that only counts for less than seven percent percent of the Homeless Causes Homelessness Causes and people seem kind of shocked and they always come back with will but I see so many that are drinking and this that and the other and I go yes that is a result of the homelessness? Okay that's for April was referring to not not the call okay of the homeless But so that's so a very important point that I try to stress the people Unless you've lived it unless you know what it's like being out there you might not be able to wrap your head around that but they're trying to kill the pain they're trying to escape from their reality because their reality is horrible at best I so yes. There is a lot of drinking not as much drug use as most people think simply because they can't afford it alcohol's a lot lot cheaper but they're trying to escape from their daily existence and that's what it is and it's an existence it's not living. Its existing the your other point about a support group. No one can get off the streets by themselves. I didn't someone that stepped in and was bound and determined that he was going to help me get my life back so people people think that the homeless condition is self induced condition in other words. You're did something to end up out on the streets so so you just need to fix that. I was homeless for almost five years. I had a mother and four brothers. Living right here Nashville. They couldn't tell you whether I was dead or alive because they didn't care now. Part of that was my fault because of the life I lead but they were also embarrassed about where I've ended up and my two oldest brothers and my mother passed away while I was on the streets and I was not allowed to attend the funerals. tell people all the time when I'm training new volunteers and people who want to get into outreach Stay away from the family question question right up front because a lot of times a lot of times. That's why they are where they are just like like in my case if we look back to the home I was raised in and what I went through that left scars. Those scars still exist. I'm just now better equipped to handle them. Then I was so I tell people stay away light because that's usually one of the first two or three questions that people ask the number one question. They always ask as well. How did you become homeless? Stay away from that question right up front because what you've done is you've just ripped the scab right off the wound and all of that that comes flooding back in their minds and they have to re live every step along the way that ended up with them on the streets. Yeah so I which I wanNA save a little bit of that conversation to transfer into the next thing And then also I want you to share in the next thing. The other four reasons people are homeless number five being alcohol or drugs. But that's so there's four other things and you you know. I have a guess of one of the top two are going to be and and just from listening to you talk and how. Gosh I'm I'm sitting here just so thankful for the bringing I had You know it wasn't perfect. My parents were divorced But they're good parents and and you know I didn't have certain things that you had to go through or that a lot of other people like you just never ever know what else what is going going on in somebody's life and what what led them there. So thank you for sharing us with us a little bit of your story. And what got so you to this point But there was that five year stint that you had on the streets so in the next thing. We'll we'll dive into your life there. Aaron your friends. And maybe what they're thinking feeling and why they're there.

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