I Am A Man With Gray Hair, Crooked Teeth, And A Warm Smile

Decent Essays
Across the table from me sat a man with gray hair, crooked teeth, and a warm smile. This man had lived all across the United States (all corners and midland except for the Pacific Northwest). Surprisingly enough, he went to Regis Jesuit High School when it was still an all-boys school. In terms of furthering his education, he received a bachelor’s and master’s degree in history. After this, he taught middle school in New Jersey and Colorado for 20 plus years. Now, he was homeless. His name was Rocco.
Rocco has been homeless for over 5 years. He explained to us that he had some property holdings and when the economy plummeted in 2008 so did the value of his investments and the money that he had. When asked to describe being homeless he said, “You know, I think this is my place to be in. Like God is saying to me, ‘You need to experience this’ and now I am.” This struck me. Never would I think someone could embrace homelessness with such grace and such understanding. To him, there was no need to wallow in his situation, instead, it was simply a stop on his journey. He was going to learn from it, and his life would eventually make a turn for the better because of it.
Rocco spoke to us about the culture of being homeless. He took us through his typical day: bouncing from shelter to church to senior center to another church and back to shelter. When asked about the other homeless, he said that he has never felt scared. As an alteration, he added, “But what could a 60-year-old man
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