John received his shoes from the homeless shelter.
“Virginia picked out a real nice pair for me.”
What is your biggest struggle with poverty on a daily basis?
“I don’t like to complain but my biggest struggle is my health. My diabetes. That’s my biggest problem. I have an enlarged prostate. Anemia. And, the laser surgery to fix my cataracts has left me seeing clouds and spots. Like little pinwheels.”
“I take some meals at this shelter but I really come by to rub shoulders with the people here. They’re all so nice…especially the people who help out: Christine, Virginia, Chris…there’s many more.”
“I have my own apartment. It’s in a building between Harvey Lo’s Restaurant and Ivan’s Collision. There were mice until I bought a few traps. Solved that problem in one day.”
“Since the new owners took over, things have gone downhill. It takes five months to get a receipt. There’s no communication. The owners don’t answer the phone. I was finally getting some communication with the owners through their 43-year-old son. But, you know what happened? He died of a massive heart attack.”
What would you like people to know about living in poverty?
“Tell people to never give up! I walk everyday for hours and hours. I talk to everybody. I try to give everyone a smile. If they don’t have one, then I give them one.”
“I collect Old Age Pension. I pay my rent and then I give the rest away. I’m 69 years old. Almost 70. I talk to my three girls every day. I was married to a beautiful person but she left me and the girls. I think she was into drugs or something.”
“I raised my daughters alone. I was a lenient Dad. And, I worked the 3-11 shift. One time I came home and there were 40 people in my house. I called the police. Boyfriends were there. 6 cases of beer. My daughters weren’t happy with me but I wasn’t going in there alone. Six policemen went in with me.”
“I love my girls. I still talk to them everyday. One of my daughters was going on vacation and I gave her $300 to spend on knick-knacks for her trip. I left myself too short—by $100—that time. Oh, well. It was hard but I managed.”
“It makes me happy to give. I give what I have. That’s me.”