Man on the Park Bench
Never in my wildest dream did I think I would be the homeless man on the park bench! Yet here I am. I am so scared that I only sleep during the day. I walk at night. I feel so vulnerable! Sometimes I am lucky enough to get into a shelter. Mothers shush their children when they see me, and often cross the street. I love kids. I spent my entire working life teaching 6th grade in one of Denver’s Elementary Schools. I made some investments that crashed along with the economy. I’ve lost my family, my home, my self-respect. I get my social security check, but it’s not enough to pay a deposit on an apartment. Sometimes I will get a motel room for the night so that I can shower and do my laundry.
Please don’t get me wrong. I’m not an alcoholic or a drug addict. I saved enough for a security deposit a few months ago, and the apartment owner said he would hold the apartment for me. Then I got mugged! I don’t know how to handle myself on the street. I’m so afraid I will never see my grandchildren again. My son told me he didn’t want me around his kids until I was able to get my life together. I hear of different agencies that help with rent, but they always want to help families first. I understand that, but where does a good, old man get help? I’m afraid that if I don’t get some kind of help soon that the winter will come and I don’t think I can survive another brutal Colorado winter.
I ran into Joe, a Denver Police Officer. Joe buys me a cup of coffee every time I see him. He asked me if I had ever heard of the Senior Assistance Center in northwest Denver. I called them on Joe’s cell phone. They gave me an appointment. They have a rental assistance program that I just might qualify for. Joe gave me a pat on the back, and reassured me that Senior Assistance Center was the real deal.
Well, Senior Assistance Center is the real deal! They really helped me.