Joey "Helping Others is a Powerful Thing"

Photography by    Randy Bacon

Photography by Randy Bacon

I’d been homeless off and on for over five years, lived in my car, camped out, lost my car, camped out. My homelessness came about from a series of events. Totally a combination of things that happened within a fairly short period of time. And I had places to live off and on. I got jobs, then I lost jobs and got kicked out. Next thing I knew, I was camping off of the railroad tracks. And that really stunk.

There’s a woman who works with Hearts for the Homeless, her name is Devery. It’s actually through her church. She’s a Messianic Jew - the Gathering Friends had wondered what to do with me because I wasn’t getting better - I broke my leg in December of 2014. She put me up in a motel until I got my surgery, and then a few months later she found me a place to live. And I got this place and I got a job - I just can’t go back yet because I haven’t been medically released. Because of my liver failure.

Not losing hope is a very, very difficult thing. Because sometimes it seems like everything bad that could happen does happen to you. And you feel like no one gives a crap, even though there are people who love you and care for you and help you every day. You just get to that point that whatever can be done has been done, and there’s nothing else anybody can do. So just don’t worry about it. So, just go away. Whatever. Fade off. Just disappear somewhere. Which I never did. I never gave up. Even when I was homeless, I volunteered at the Gathering Tree, an organization that helps the homeless, a couple days a week. Having a purpose and helping others is a powerful thing, especially when your own life is not going so well.