Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen

Homeless Story

In Guest stories on March 13, 2013 at 6:54 pm

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Some years ago, I worked in lower Manhattan for a company that sells suits. My job was to hand out flyers on the corner. Some people took them, others crumpled them, while others dismissed me as a nuisance. There were a couple of guys who went to lunch every day, and I handed them a flyer, but this particular guy always folded his arms as if to say, “Don’t bother me.”

Around that time, there was a scandal brewing at the company where they worked at, involving people getting paid too much, going on junkets, buying expensive toys. This made the news and the company fired a few of their employees. Among the ones who got fired was the guy who refused to take the flyers.

Fast-forward to two years ago. I was going to the library on Fifth Avenue and stopped at 38th and Fifth to sit on a bench and drink a Coke. Sitting on the other end of the bench was the guy who refused to take the flyers and was fired. He was sitting there with shopping bags from some of the expensive stores on Fifth Avenue: Lord & Taylor, Saks, Abercrombie & Fitch. He saw me, and he got up and left. He knew I was homeless. It bothered me for a second, and then I took it as a big joke.

A couple of days later I was in Grand Central Station, and out of the corner of my eye I saw that very same individual going through the garbage. At first I thought he was searching for a newspaper, but no, he was going through discarded bags for food. Since then, a couple of times I have seen him on line at St Francis and also here at Holy Apostles, wearing dark glasses and a baseball cap.

My reason for writing about this, is that I hate people who pretend they are not homeless. Be who you are. Things don’t always go the way we want them to….you roll with the punches. But to look down on another person because they are less fortunate than you – you are in the same boat with them, all sinking together, until someone throws you a rope.

George Cousins

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