Close to Homeless

How close are we to becoming homeless? Turns out a lot closer than we think.

I recently spent an entire day with my friend Brian Seeley whom I affectionately refer to as the homeless guy. He runs a charity (Gospel, Inc. – http://gospelinc.org/) in Lakeland that works to help homeless people, which by the way is a pretty tough job. I met so many different types of people all with different stories. When I say different stories I mean some of the toughest things you can imagine, from massive drug problems to sexual abuse at the worst levels anyone can imagine. I’ll spare you the details, however there seemed to be a pretty common thread in all of the stories.

Trauma+Lack of Support = Homelessness.

Now of course there are one off scenarios and many people whom don’t want the support no matter how hard you try. It hit me hard… many of us forget how blessed we are to have grown up in homes where people loved us. I can of course remember those moments that I got off track and had so many people that pushed me back in the right direction. I just can’t imagine my life if the people that were supposed to help me had ended up abusing me. What would my life have looked like? Would I be living with a terrible drug addiction, struggling for something to believe in, struggling for purpose, or shoot just struggling to get a job? What if I had never met my wife who introduced me to GOD and has loved my dumb butt for 13 years and given me 4 amazing kids. It wouldn’t have taken much for me to be on a different path.

One of the people we went with (who wasn’t homeless) just broke down in the middle of us talking. When we asked her what was wrong she started to sob uncontrollably and in between gasps she said, “I was here had it not been for my mom who saved me, despite me.”

This made me think of what a huge responsibility it is to raise kids and it for sure isn’t easy but damn is it important. I don’t have any advice on how to do it right, but after spending a whole day with people who are at some of the lowest points in life I can see how important it really is. So go home and when you eat that warm meal or sleep in that warm bed in your nice house just think how blessed you really are and how close you might have been to being homeless.

 

-Pete Maris

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