Mike Dotson, Roofer, Nashville discussed on 4 Things with Amy Brown

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Okay. So you mentioned the top five reasons people are homeless. So let's go through those and the other one you mentioned the fifth one but what are the other four number one overwhelming Loss of job almost forty six percent of homelessness MRS created by loss of job and or a significant reduction in income. And what I mean by that is you have a seventy five thousand dollar year job. You lose that job. The only job you can find at the time is going to pay you. Fifty thousand dollars. Will you still have a seventy five thousand dollars a year mortgage a seventy five thousand dollar year. Car Payment a seventy five thousand dollar year lifestyle lifestyle. It doesn't take long at fifty thousand to not be able to afford the lifestyle I used to have people lose jobs for a lot of reasons. But let's say I'll give you an actual actual story true story. This young man was raised in a family that were roofers. His grandfather started a roofing company. His father continued with that roofing company. He was brought up in that business. That's what he was doing making real good money until he slipped. One day fell off. The roof broke his back. He can no longer be a roofer. That's all he knew. He didn't have any other trait it skills. He'd been born and bred and raised to be a roofer financially. He could no longer longer live. The lifestyle was living which eventually led to a pretty ugly divorce Then child support that he was having difficulty paying He continued to work whatever he could find But but he today lives in a tent. Here in Nashville works full time but he can't afford to pay his child support port and rent an apartment. Gosh so he lives in a tent gets up and goes to work every day so he can can pay that child support. There are more stories like that. Then there are. They're just lazy they just I want to drink or they just wanted to drugs. I had a gentleman that was an attorney. He was in a bad car accident during his recovery period. He got hooked on pain pills after the doctor prescribing. Those pain appeals. He turned to the streets to get. He got caught in a drug sting. He ended up getting disbarred and losing his license to practice law. Divorce was not far behind. And he just didn't you know what to do because like our friend the Roofer this is what he'd wanted to do all of his life. That's all the training he had ever had was to be an attorney and when I I ran into him out on the streets he was broken in every sense of the word and he just didn't see a light at the end of the tunnel and it just took one simple suggestion and I looked at him and I said you do not have to have a law license to be appar legal. You already have the knowledge. Someone will hire you as a researcher if nothing else and you can get back in to what you love doing. He had never thought of that because he was so overwhelmed by the tragedy that had become his life that he couldn't see opportunity even if it was right in front of him and I go back to a statement I made earlier. Nobody gets off the streets on their own right and you mentioned your how you go. Well there was one particular person that you credit to you finally Getting off the streets and I think I just decided for the next thing. I want you to teach us in the third thing. We teach us what we're supposed to say to people because obviously you know we learned from your second ago. We should not say. Why are you homeless? Or how did you get here. Where's your support support group? Or what like those trigger questions anything that can be a trigger question So for you you. Let's share a little bit about the person that came into your life. And how what they just he got to know you. Yes another thing that has to happen before you. You can assist or be an integral part of somebody getting off the streets. You have to build a relationship right you have to build trust which is what you you have done probably with your roofer friend and lawyer friend and yes you are able to finally and then you again knowing where they've come from and then you having the wisdom like you can help them navigate what they couldn't see which a lot of us get wrapped up in one particular circumstance and then we can't see. See the opportunity. We can't say the bigger picture we can't see outside of what's happening. So you can have the biggest drawback to be able to do that is most people. Don't want to invest the time it takes to build that relationship. Mike is a prime example. Mike Dotson the gentleman that I'm speaking of that that is really the reason I'm sitting here today. The first time I met him I stood on the same corner for five years and he came pulling up one day and it was is close to a McDonalds and he came up one day and he said. I don't know if you've eaten breakfast or not but I bought you a sausage biscuit here you go. I said thank you very much. And he said have a great day and he left that was it that was our first encounter but he kept coming back and he kept coming back and he kept coming back and Michael Michael Tell you. I didn't trust people at that point at all. It took Mike over a year before he ever learned my last name but he never pushed he just is kept coming back sometimes he would just pull up and go. I can't stay but I was in the area. I've got an appointment down the road. I just wanted swing. Biology is thinking about you. Hope you're having a good day. I'll be back to spend some time with you later. Okay so how did Mike know that. I mean he had had to had he worked with a homeless before he I mean he just as a gifted spirit of the new kind of the right and not that he's the only person out there that does know this but I I feel like okay. A bunch of us are just kind of like I. I would probably the bonehead that psych so trying to get to know you. How did you get here like wire? Why are you homeless but not a well intentioned but obviously not the right thing and so how do you how did might have the wisdom to know that he just needed to slow? Roll it with you earn your trust I mean is it something Mike had done before now he had never approached a homeless person before. That's okay so It was just really according to the story heat the way he tells it it was just God tap him on the shoulder and saying saying. Hey but and we're fixing to start a new program coming up on too long from now and it's going to be called the one and what my had had come to realize is I can spread a little me around to a whole lot of people but if I give all of me to one I I can make a difference. I can make a real difference and so that relationship building that I mentioned earlier. That's what Mike did and it was as simple as sometimes he would show up with a pizza and he'd get out of his car and we'd sit there on the curb and have lunch together together. Might have you heard of this starfish story. Yes okay. That's sorta sounds like to me. Mike is is a good Christian in man he invited me to church one time and never brought it back up I'd been church hurt in in the past so I wasn't real receptive to that but the amazing thing is as he continued to build that relationship. I'm sitting there one Sunday morning and the next thing I know I'm on my way to his church that invitation that one invitation that he had given me almost a year transpired before that Sunday morning when I woke up and decided I was going to go to church because I never forgot to things. I never forgot that he invited me but more importantly I never forgot that. He didn't push it. He didn't try to ram it down my throat. Because as a homeless person and no offense to Church People Christians I differentiate between the two. They really really are pushy. When it comes to our homeless friends and trying to get them the first mistake they make is as they think? They don't have a relationship with God because you know they seem drunk or they see him this or they see him that I tell people so you do not want to get into a Bible war with a homeless person because ninety five percent of them know no it backwards and forwards they can quote it verbatim. They may get drunk. They may do a lot of things. Everyone I know has a Bible and every one of them I know reads that Bible almost on a daily basis but mike never or pushed it and the problem is if you push one of our friends that distrust they have that has been instilled in them from their experience is going to lock them down and they're gonNA shut you out and the harder you push the less chance you have of getting through through to them you have to let homeless people kind of come to you because you have to let them have time to learn to trust I tell people you can find out everything you want to know about that person if you don't ask because if you ask they're gonNa tell you what they think you want to hear right because that's her experience if you don't ask and you take that time to build that relationship up like Mike did with me they they will tell you everything so wh- obviously started to build this relationship with Mike. What what year on the streets was this because you were there five years do like? How long did it take? Because he's one of the we'll get into how he helped you get get off the streets in new making that that that move But for I have so many questions in my head right now. I don't even know where to start over and then I'm like like Oh gosh I wish this podcast could just Go longer so how we're other people different like. How were you treated like you said you were on the same corner every day and he was obviously pretty awesome to you? How did you feel like with other people and not that? Everybody's awesome you by any means but I'm like you know when people would drive by like how does it feel when people drive by and they just don't even look at you. I mean sometimes they just assume okay. They're asking for money. I don't have any money so I'm just GONNA keep both my hands on the wheel and look straight ahead and not even acknowledge them. Because I don't have any money I don't want to be awkward. What would what would make your day better if people even if they didn't have any money or anything to give her whatever you're asking for whatever there's a smile away like how 'cause obviously not everybody's going to be like he was you that one more whatever like you were his one which I'm very curious about this new program to all that's rattling in my head right now but like what? Just so that we know when we're in our cars because I'm guilty of that totally And then I even I talk crap to myself after I do it. I'm like God that just so. Oh that's a human. That's why are you being Weirdo. Like don't be a Weirdo. You would waving smiled as somebody else like. Why is this awkward so like what? What kind of interactions did you have? And what would advice be to those of us that are just in our cars driving by that just should probably be friendly. Well I'll give you the the three three ways that society interacts with homeless people Number one is they're invisible they just don't exist. They drive by. They don't obtaining knowledge if you wave at them they're not going to wave back. I think part of that is if they don't see our friends human beings then they're they're okay with not doing disconnected. Yeah they're okay with not doing anything.

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