I’m having a bit of a struggle processing all that I experienced while living on the streets for three days…

Mean mugs, getting put out of places, being talked down to, being viewed as an animal, being rejected repeatedly, people looking at you like you are strange, hearing awful statements thrown at you like rocks from people walking down the street, and workers in shelters treating you poorly (people who are supposed to care)…

“Get out of my way, and get a job…” Some random guy told me.

“Hell no, I’m not going to give your lazy ass nothing…” A woman screamed.

“All of you all smell…” This young corporate executive yelled.

“Let’s cross the street…” A lady said as we were approaching their group.

All these words and more felt like NO’S!!!!

2013-12-24 21.11.17-2Could you imagine not only being down, but being stepped on constantly and reminded that you are less than (an outcast even…)? Well, I believe that’s how the homeless feel. Not all of them have drug problems, steal, or are mentally ill. Most of them are decent people (and have big hearts).

How are you supposed to climb out of a ditch of homelessness when everything (including the system) reminds you that you can’t and that you don’t belong?

The second night, I was put out of a homeless shelter lobby when trying to charge my phone. I asked the worker, “Can I please charge my phone, it’s cold outside (40 degrees)..I need to have it on for safety…”

The man ripped my phone out of the wall, and told me “Get out now…I don’t want to tell your ass again…If you have a problem with it…take it up with the white man (excuse the language I’m not racist). Don’t look at me, I’m just doing my job.”

However, I persisted, “Sir, could I please charge my phone…It’s cold and I have no where else to go.”

He looked at me, and said the most hurtful statement I believe any homeless person could hear. He said, “Don’t get mad at me because of the life you are living…”

What if I was just down on my luck and was homeless temporarily?

What if I lost my home in a fire?

What if I wasn’t a drug addict or had a mental health illness?

What if I were really trying to get off the streets?

All the rejecting moments above screamed NO!!!!!

2013-12-24 22.08.24-1That one worker and many others I encountered treated me and my friends like trash, and it hurt. Why? Because I have friends that are homeless, and there is no hope in rejection, being viewed as the scum of the earth, or being treated like an animal.

Today, I blog to release the hurt, and share that I am going to do all I can to raise awareness through #lovebeyondwalls and do my best to find my friends some help to get them off the streets.

Below is a video taken from one of my homeless friends sharing about homeless people,

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I ask that you give [HERE] to help this organization raise more awareness about these awful injustices.

Terence

Terence Lester

Author Terence Lester

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Join the discussion 5 Comments

  • Roxanne says:

    Your experience is ver enlightening. Something we see everything day and may have sympathy for, you now have the experience and have empathy for. We all need to have that empathetic experience so this ministry can be an emotional tug on our heart strings but a passion to assist one another. My brother, this is what true ministry is about.

  • Dusty says:

    This broke my heart! I wonder how many times I have been quick to form an opinion about someone I don’t even know?!

  • sandra says:

    I recall when I was homeless. I left an abusive marriage, and had nothing left. Sometimes I felt like going back into the relationship just to get off the streets. More than willing to work with your organization.

    • Terence Lester says:

      Thank you for sharing this! You are brave, and I applaud you. I’m praying for you and would love to work with you soon. Terence

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