“I just got here a few minutes ago. This is my first time here. I go to the Vineyard church in South Toms River on Sundays, and they connected me with someone who was able to get me here tonight.
“I have been living in the woods in Bricktown since I was released from prison last September. It is just too cold to be outside, and I just couldn’t take it out there last night. It’s just too cold. Tomorrow I am going to go to Alive Again church and stay there for two days.
“I make a little money under the table with a painter, cleaning his brushes, things like that, and I want to get a room to rent. I don’t make much money though, and I can’t find a room that’s cheap anywhere.
“I was in prison for many many years for bank robbery. My problem was alcohol back then. I have been sober ever since I have been in prison, for 15 years now. I got out last September a free man. I am not on probation or parole or anything. I want to change my life, but the cost of living is so expensive, and I just haven’t been able to make enough money to live.
“I am 58 years old, I have no trade skills, and I am homeless. But I am sober, I go to church, and work hard at whatever work I can get. I see now that because of alcohol and bad decisions, I have wasted my life. I wish I had done things differently. But I think things will improve once we get to warmer weather. I am not giving up.”
(Happy Update: I was just contacted that at Shore Vineyard Church in South Toms River someone in their congregation opened up a room in their home for him so he has a place to stay now!)
(POTJS Note: As the temps plunged below zero Saturday night, I visited a warming center in Lakewood. More than 50 homeless people were kept warm and safe. This week I am sharing with you all some the people I met.)