I just met with a student who’s homeless. Here’s what he told me.
He told me he came out here from Midwest for a girl. (He’s 19). He said when he got here, her story changed. He worked at a restaurant, but the season ended. He worked at a cannery, but the season ended. He’s being kicked out of the “Christian” shelter because he wants to go to school. (He’s smart and thoughtful, scary to fundamentalists, I guess). He told me he didn’t have a place to sleep tonight because the mission won’t have him back. The next closest shelter is about 25 miles away. He has no friends here. His mother has passed. His dad won’t answer the phone when he calls.
There was no lie in his voice, and he said to me that he didn’t want to lie to the Mission (we told him to say he wasn’t coming to school just to buy some time until his financial aid can arrive). He said his mom told him to think of others first, so he shared his food stamps with others. He told me that it’s hard to get a job when you can’t take a shower. He said it’s hard to read in the shelter because it’s noisy and people bother him.
I had to let him walk out the door into the rain and fog. He probably won’t sleep inside tonight. He said he’s coming back on Monday to bring me a paper that might let me help him. I hope he does. I really do.

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