Ron is a homeless friend of mine. I met him in 2009 during my Homeless Project. He is in his late 50’s. He is an alcoholic and has been on the streets for about two decades. He clothes are dirty, he is unshaven, his fingernails are long and filthy and he smells putrid. He was in the army, but went AWOL when he became an alcoholic. I see him often in my neighborhood.
I have another friend Karen who has been working with government, foundations and non-profits to create a more comprehensive solution to work with the homeless. I asked her if there was any place in San Diego who might take Ron and help him. She suggested Veteran’s Village. So I asked Ron last Monday if he would be willing to go with me to Veteran’s Village to see if they could help him get off the streets. He said, “Yes, I don’t want to die on the streets.”
Last Friday, I asked Ron if he was ready to go. He said, “No, I have a cold.” I told him I was sorry he was not feeling well and that I would come back next week to take him to Veteran’s Village. Knowing Ron, he will have an excuse each week I ask him. I will challenge Ron after three or four weeks. I will ask him if he wants help himself or if wants to die on the streets. That will be an interesting conversation as he is a smart guy and he will know not to feed me a line of excuses.