The other day I saw a man on the street soliciting donations. I decided to try something different.
I had read a blog post from a blogger who lives in England, who once was homeless herself (Nadia's Perspective) and challenged her readers in how to view solicitors.
Should you give a homeless person money?
Having read the story and struggled with the topic on several occasions I decided to try something new!
I was in kinda of a hurry at the time, so I wrapped up a bill around my business card in hopes that I might get a response some time later by way of a phone call or email.
Last night this is the email I received. I asked for permission this morning to share this on my blog.
Evening Mr. Parker,
Thank you again for your generous contribution to my situation. I realize most people who panhandle usually are pre-determined as addicts, recovering addicts, alcoholics, or suffering from some other condition.
Long story short, September 28th 2011 I was involved in an accident shortly after leaving work. No fault of my own, just sitting still in traffic when a young man ran a red light and collided into the back of my car leaving me unable to return to work at either profession. 10 months later I was able to sit up and begin walking again, unfortunately,with a limp and cracked lower back discs.
As a preexisting condition, employers politely decline hiring you because of the possible ramifications of injury and they do not want their insurance to be held liable in the event something should happen. If I don't tell them and something occurs, then its' employment fraud and no one is held accountable except me and jobless again.
Disability has been filed, declined and now going for the appeal. Another 4-6 months of struggle. There are no resources for rent, utilities etc....the waiting list is insane.
So I'm forced to panhandle and make the best out of whatever the good Lord should bless me with for the day. I stand for 10 hours a day, 7 days a week no matter the weather. I have no options and I don't stop for breaks from standing etc....My wife counts on me and I count on myself. Extremely determined to say the least, I don't know how to give up.
My employment history is very simple. 16 years with the World Art Group as the specialist printer of antique reproductions which now is no longer a position or department.
9 years on a television show in Canada, The Fourth Encounter which is now just a memory. After the networks sued for my contract and the I.R.S. collected, there was nothing left except day to day.
No savings, etc....This is why my sign reads STARTING OVER. Not quitting, just starting back up the hard way.
Victim of a misfortunes of circumstances. Life moves on and I have to do my best everyday in order to begin to turn things back around. If it wasn't for my trust in Christ, I probably would of collapsed by now. Sounds grim, but I'm optimistic, something will come together.
On rare occasions as with you, I received a blessing from you. That hardly ever happens.
The average comes out to 1.53 per hour or less and all the bad mouth and grief a person can stand on a daily bases.
Stereotyping is rampant, but it is part of it unfortunately.
Easier to assume than to ask a question. The truth I guess isn't as fun I guess.
The police have a betting pool going as to whether or not I'll make it. At least they are friendly.
People really have no idea just how vicious people really are, from being slashed with a hook knife to being shot at, a new hole in the sign now, to being burned with a fire starter. 2 months ago I was shot in the face with an air cannon loaded with pennies and gravel. Still healing from that one.
I have to be careful and cautious of everyone. I tried to get a news medias to cover my story, no luck there. No dirt, no story basically The Holy Spirit is watching over me and something will occur for us, just in God's time, not ours. Bless you again for the help Mr. Parker and we thank you.The clip is a show sample.
Robert and Tricia Bess
I too have been guilty of trying to put everyone on the street in the same box! I too have judged people wrongly!
This was a great wake up call!
Give it you want generously, but don't judge!
Take the time to ask!
Tomorrow I will follow up with a post concerning our first meeting.