Homeless Nashville

How do you describe being homeless? Growing up in a middle class family, doing all the right things. Then one day, you are on the street.What Happens now?

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Location: Nashville, Tennessee, United States

Now that I am no longer homeless, I still hope to help others. There are a few who truly want off the streets, out of the soup lines. Back to a "normal" way of living. Everyone who is homeless isn't a bum, nor a criminal. There are those that just need a chance. My first day as a homeless person was April 1st, 1997. From then on its been an unreal experience. Not one I would suggest anyone go thru, but one I know I have learned from. I hope in some way this blog helps you, the reader know a little about me. But more important , I hope it helps you understand a little more about homeless people in general.

2.20.2005

How it happened

I have to tell you it was really weird. At one point I thought I was gonna wake up. I just knew I was dreaming. Ok In chronological order.
Sat the 12th of Feb. I got an email from a lady who had been reading my Blog. She asked me to call a number if I wanted a job, so , naturally I called.
Her husband runs a custom cabinet shop and he needed someone to keep the place clean and to help load/unload, really about anything that needed done around the place. He offered me a job with benefits for 8 bucks an hour. Well I jumped on it. THEN...I found out where it was. About in another county, no bus service. Well not one to be detracted by the small stuff ( Ok maybe it wasn't small) during our conversation I told him about my experience in cabinet shops and that a few years ago,,,ok 12 years ago, I was Corian Certified ( I built solid surface countertops and went to the school the Corian factory provides.) Also that I had worked with the designers closely and did some custom edging, etc. For the FIRST time in all these years I have been homeless, someone actually called my references. He picked me up at 5 that evening and we went to his shop. Beautiful area, more suburban I guess than true country, but it was wonderful to me just to not see a sidewalk! He tested me on equipment and procedures, and hired me on the spot. He told me the wage and I am not sure I didn't lose conscience for a bit. I couldn't believe it. But the top shop man he had wanted to semi-retire and he needed someone with skills BAD. Still , in the back of my mind I was wondering how the heck I was going to get there. Then, it occurred to me that he still had the clean-up position available, and , just so happens, one of my friends lives in his VAN and needed a full-time job. I convinced him to hire not one, but two homeless persons. He laughed, said I needed to be in sales and that he needed his head checked.He took me back to Nashville and met his other new employee and left the two of us discussing everything.
I went to church Sunday morning feeling pretty good. I ride to church with a retired couple. I went to about 20 church's before I found this one. Its a beautiful place, the rear of the grounds borders the woods and I watch the deer and squirrels waiting on church to begin.
Now, no one , including the folks that pick me up know I am homeless. Never saw the need to tell anyone and they didn't ask. I don't look it for one thing.
Well that Sunday I told them about my new job and let it slip, that I was homeless.
Got real silent in that car, I can tell you. Mrs.M just turned around and looked at me and said,"Honey, are you sure?" I had to laugh. Not just laugh I was pretty well rolling around. Well I convinced her that I was pretty sure I was homeless. And they actually took it will, at least I felt they did. I actually told them to pull over if they felt like it and I would get out. I didn't want to cause anyone to feel uneasy around me. Mr M told me to shut up!
Before church , they have a little area with coffee, donuts, juice, etc, set up and usually I grab some juice and watch Mother Nature.
That morning, two of the church elders sat down beside me and asked me about being homeless. Again, I figured that I would be asked to leave, but they were so nice and truly interested about me.I didn't hold anything back, too late for that.
After church I was waiting on Mr. and Mrs M and about 15 people came up to me and congratulated me on my job! And wished me well.( word DOES travel fast I guess) Also, more of the leaders of the church asked me for a word with them. I don't know why that when you are homeless or in a similar state you always fear the worst. Human nature I guess. Again I feared the worst, only to be greatly surprised.
Seems one of the church members lived close to where I was going to work. They just happened to have a garage apartment for rent.( Their son and his girlfriend had recently moved to another state and they just hadn't gotten around to renting the place yet.) Well, I didn't have two nickels to rub together and was trying to think fast about what to do.
didn't have to worry, the church paid my all my deposit, and 6 months rent.
Somewhere about this time I pinched myself. This was just way too good to be true, the proverbial other shoe was gonna drop!
SO..After church, Mr and Mrs M drove me to meet my buddy in the van and I told him I had a place, that he didn't have to worry about me getting there. Then we went to pick my things up, I proved to Mrs M I WAS homeless. She cried, sweet soul.
We then drove out to my new place. Its not only close. I can see the building where I work. They got me all moved in( took all of about a minute) and they headed home.
Some furniture is in the place. including a TV with satellite dish.I have to say its a pretty nice place. Quiet, clean, there is a pasture with some Angus cattle in it in the backyard.
Panic time again.WHAT THE HECK AM I GOING TO EAT FOR TWO WEEKS! This time real panic. Water can last you for so long, but if you are working you need food.
About 8 PM, the doorbell rang ( I HAVE A DOORBELL!!!!!!)
Too good to be true, ladies from the church had housewarming gifts for me. FOOD, toiletries, sheets, blankets, washing detergent, everything a person could think of and more.
I don't really know what I did to deserve all this, but I am thankful for it.
I wont be online alot, today is thanks to a friend who brought me to the library today and is getting ready to take me home. OH, the job is great!! I am working 10 hour days, and I am beat when I get in , but its a good kind of tired. I will post more on the job next week.
I owe alot of people thanks,

6 Comments:

Blogger Aaron the Atheist said...

Fred, what an inspiring story! A it must be a good church full of good people. I recently ranted about a church that turned away homeless people but even I acknowledge that when people's hearts are in the right place, they'll do good for anyone. I commend this church of yours, but I don't think I'll be going there. LOL.

5:07 PM  
Blogger ...just-rambling... said...

Congratulations! It's so good to hear about good news and good people for a change.

9:19 AM  
Blogger ~m2~ said...

oh, (((fred))) i am in tears! what a wonderful story and i couldn't be more thrilled for you.

keep us posted (as much as you can, busy guy...) about how the job is going for you and please know you are in my thoughts and prayers.

penni
(martha, martha)

6:13 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

This is so wonderful! I haven't stopped by in a long time, and I have to admit I felt kind of worried as the page was loading. Now it seems you have a job and a home out of the rain and cold! I'm so happy for you, that you've found what sounds like terrific friends.

10:21 AM  
Blogger Blog World said...

i was just browsing through the blog world searching for the keyword posters and it brought me to your site. You have a great site however it is not exactly what i was looking for. Good luck on your site.

4:04 PM  
Anonymous tnactigger@yahoo.com said...

well i found your story while looking for a job. i googled cabinet shops in nashville. I have hope now. See i maybe homeless soon, if i dont get a job myself. hope is a good thing on a day like today. when i feel at my wits end. THANKS!

7:54 AM  

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