My New Homeless Friend

As part of the 7 Billion One's team, Michelle Jackson plays a vital role in the growth and success of the movement, including the completion of an incredible project "The Road I Call Home" which presents the stories, lives and portraits of 70 to 100 homeless people.  "The Road I Call Home", which is set to be unveiled in September 2016, will boldly and clearly show that as a homeless person that they truly matter, are important and have stories that count. 7 Billion Ones is doing this project in conjunction with a nonprofit, Gathering Friends, which day-in-and-day-out are on the streets helping the homeless. Michelle (and all of us) are being forever changed by the experience of meeting these wonderful people that just happen to call the road their home. Here's her words.

"Cave" and Michelle

"Cave" and Michelle


"So, I openly admit I was taken aback when I first saw Donnis, known on the street as Cave - he is a mountain of a man with battle scars from his life on and off the streets. And then he told the funniest story ever within seconds of meeting him, and I was on board.  What I didn’t know then was that Cave’s goal is to make you smile… so you won’t forget him.  It felt like many people had forgotten or overlooked Cave over the course of his life.  During the photo shoot, while telling his story, he would vacillate between laughter and near-tears.  And so did I… okay, no “near tears”, just “for-real-rolling-down-my-face-tears”.  At the end of the official shoot, I was invited to take a picture with Cave, and I gladly accepted. He grabbed me into a huge bear hug immediately - one of those that you feel deep down in your soul. You know, the really real ones that come from an incredibly honest, vulnerable place.  The kind you feel for days after it’s gone. It’s funny how sometimes your mind opening kind of feels like your heart breaking… I cherish that moment in time I shared with Cave, and will remember it always."

Michelle