free the pen, a blog for writers

September 21, 2012

Unexpected Friends

Filed under: Uncategorized — freethepen @ 8:21 pm

There is so much in the media these days about homeless people. Because of the reporting that surrounds us about mental illness, poverty level, and a disregard for social norms, it makes it difficult to view homeless as being anything but scraps of society that have no place in our communities. But is that absolutely true?

The men and women in our armed forces fighting overseas might just one day be that person on the corner who asks you for help to buy lunch. Perhaps the woman covered in dust holding up a sign on the corner has simply hit hard times with no place to go waiting for a hand to find a new road to recovery from the struggle.

In 2000, I got sick, lost my home, my friends turned away from me. I stood on the corner of 41st in Capitola, California wondering where I was going to sleep that night. Staying in a hotel was draining my checking account and I was barely healthy enough to work. Trust me: if it can happen to me while owning a home (which had become uninhabitable), and having three jobs and two college degrees, it can happen to you too. What would you do? How would you want others to view you? What would you have thought of me if you had seen me standing on the corner dazed, in worn jeans and faded turtleneck?

In Kate’s Way I attempted to help change or automatic view of the homeless. The main character, Kate Abrams finds herself kicked out of her house from an unwanted divorce, betrayed by the man who promised her the world yet left her with only a car, a trunk filled with leftovers from her single days, and a broken life. She drove across the country and landed in Maine where she met the only people offering her help: a small group of homeless men.

I hope her story cultivates change in how you automatically think of the homeless. Remember one positive thought antidotes a thousand negative ones.

Until next time,





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