Thursday, January 04, 2007

Homeless Man Speaks Via Toronto Blog

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A Harvard MBA graduate, Philip Stern, a technology consultant in Toronto, made friends with a homeless man named Tony in the downtown section of that city about five years ago. After not seeing Tony for several days (Tony had served a few days in jail), Philip proposed that the two start a blog together called "Homeless Man Speaks." Philip posts Tony's statements (verbatim), which are often answers to Philip's, sometimes, provocative questions.

Just after Christmas, Philip posed this question to his friend:
“Tony, why don’t you look for a job? ... I even bet quite a few people who are sympathetic to the homeless issue have problems with the job thing.”


Tony:
“OK, well, first of all, you don’t get paid for looking for a job because you’re not at your panhandling station. So how am I supposed to get food when I’m looking for a job?”

Tony also said that he needs a phone to get a job and most people wouldn’t give him money if they found out that he had a cell phone. I think he should go ahead and ask someone to donate a phone to him. It could only enhance his life. What if he had a medical emergency and needed help? It would also be easier for homeless advocates and social service agencies to reach him when they wanted to offer him assistance.

Read the entire post about Tony’s joblessness here.

Here’s another of Tony’s comments from December:
“There’s this guy who comes by at night sometimes. Sometimes he hands me a pack of smokes--they’re Matinees. Turns out he isn’t allowed to smoke at home, so the woman who lives upstairs goes and follows him whenever he gets caught. Then the guy pretends he's just bringing me a pack, so there won’t be any trouble.”

This is a profound site that offers an intimate look at one homeless man's life. How odd that this Harvard businessman would be so attracted to this down-on-his-luck gentleman. I wonder if I have the nerve to do the same in Nashville. It's something to think about.

1 comment:

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