There is one man I sleep near during the night named Derek. He is in his early 20’s and seems like a moral and upright man. He’s been there every night since I began sleeping there regularly. After he charges his go-phone at one of the few electrical outlets he then lays out his mat near our section at 9:30pm on the dot.
Derek works at a coffee shop in Northwest San Antonio and goes to work everyday before I even wake up at 6am. Why is Derek living here at the outdoor shelter?
Was it drugs?
Was it alcohol?
Was it medical?
Was it bad investments?
I don’t want to believe it was any of these…but I am not sure yet.
Why is this guy homeless?
Derek is a very quiet man. Always listening to music and never really bothering anyone around him. Georgia and I like to sleep near him because he is quiet and respectful. He’s a good “roommate” in the outdoor shelter.
It took me a while to get to know Derek but he has started to open up to the new guy in town. Come to find out he is new to the area himself. Derek has been living in the outdoor shelter for just a few weeks, not much longer than I have. He was evicted from his apartment because he had trouble paying rent on a regular basis. He began to stay here because he needs to save enough money to pay more than just 1 month…he wants to save enough so he never has to come back to this place again. He’s saving all the money he can. The outdoor shelter is a good place to start.
Where was his family?
Where were his friends?
Where was his church, temple, or community center?
Where was the love?
“I only will be here for 1 month or so…then I will get my own place” he said. That’s all I really know about his future plans. (Many people living here don’t open up all at once…its a work in progress when it comes to learning someone’s story.) (See my rules for how I reveal info…)
I really hope to make it up to his coffee shop and drink a warm cup of joe sometime soon. Then hopefully after Easter I can visit his new apartment…it would be good to see him back indoors.