Moe received his shoes from the shelter. He’s been a regular at the shelter on and off for years. He likes to help out by changing the garbage bags, carrying in donations and cleaning up when necessary.
What is your biggest struggle with poverty on a daily basis?
“That’s easy. Money and quitting drinking.”
“I fell off the wagon last week but I’m back on track now. What happened was my girl-friend had her ex-husband at her house which got me upset. And, I was really missing my grand-babies. They live in the same apartment building. I can’t visit them until my girlfriend moves. It’s complicated. See, the people in her building don’t want to have to keep calling the police. She’s moving soon so it’ll all get sorted out. Then, I can visit more often.”
“Money is a problem all the time. It’s hard enough to have money for food and rent. What I really want money for is to take the grand-children out to McDonald’s or Burger King. They’re 2 and 4 years old. But, the younger one, you won’t believe it but he can eat a full sub! He can “kill a box of Kraft Dinner” even! I’ll have more money by the end of the month. I can’t wait to take them out again.”
What would you like people to know about living in poverty?
“There’s a lot of people who aren’t aware of how to budget money. That’s why they’re here at the shelter. Some are drug addicts. Others just don’t know how to make their money last the whole month. They need to try to find someone to help them learn how to budget. Get themselves a trustee or something. I’m going to have my girlfriend’s Dad help me budget. Be my trustee. But, you have to be careful! Make sure two signatures are required for the banking. Your signature and the trustee’s. Not just the trustee’s signature!”
“I know having the trustee is going to help me. I hope more people catch on to this idea.”
Recently, Moe became involved with the shelter’s Street Patrol program. He drives around the city for two hours five times a week accompanied by two other patrols. They search in alleys, near dumpsters, and under bridges for homeless people. When a homeless person is found, information is provided about the shelter. The person is told the shelter’s not only a place to eat but also where one can shower, obtain hygiene products and homeless-to-go lunch bags. The homeless person is given a sleeping bag and a lunch bag, too. Moe gets a lot of self-worth from the Street Patrol program.