I have been in LA exactly one week as of today. Many people may not know this, but I got rid of my car in 2015 in order to save for the move I knew I would make.
One of my goals was to get a bike and really live a less is more lifestyle (we will see how long that lasts). Well I decided to uber to the gym, about 1.5 miles, from where I am currently staying.
About 10:30pm on Wednesday I finished working out and playing basketball. I did what I have done for several days now, I proceeded to walk home from the gym for extra cardio and in that space I also talk to God and clear my head.
While walking I see a young Hispanic woman who is homeless and settling in for the night, in her car on Santa Monica Boulevard. She is reading a book with, what looks like a comforter and she is no older than 25. This seemed like a routine to her. She was not crying and she did not look upset, she looked fairly well kept.
That image did something to me, it jared me and I really felt overwhelming compassion in seeing someone so young in that position. Surely I am not too much better than she is, nor do I currently have a place to call my own. Though I did not know her story I could only imagine what brought her to that place.
It made me think about what my journey may look like in LA. Part of me would like to think I would never be homeless, but the other part of me the part that has survived and lived despite many obstacles says, “Keep living”.
The other thing that seeing this young lady sparked was a refocused energy and an initiative I would eventually like to start. One day my hope is create programs to help transition people who are homeless into financially stable working Americans. Homelessness is not all about the want or drive to find a job, but often times the circumstances that lead many there.
I know some of us pulled ourselves up by our bootstraps and made our own way, but for someone like myself I’m cognizant of the opportunities I both worked for and the ones that were provided to me.
I shared this story, because it is a reality for so many and secondly to encourage everyone to find a way to help someone. Whether that be forwarding job/career information or referring someone you know is a good fit for a job (even if they are better qualified than you).
Be a light and be a blessing to someone else.