Homeless, Humble, and Hopeful
By: Brea Dupye
Growing up in the city of Baltimore, seeing people who were homeless was a normal occurrence. Being taught to not give my dollar to everyone that I stumbled upon created a feeling toward them like Orajel on a toothache, numb.
Before taking on the adventure into the woods, the Executive Director of the Chatham Savannah Authority for the Homeless (CSAH), Cindy Kelly, warned us to not travel too far due to the unstable mental conditions some of the people living there suffered from.
Twigs snapped at the bottom of my feet as I walked further on the trail deeper into the woods, hoping to see a homeless tent community. Fear began to set in as I approached the open area that was filled with a cluster of tents belonging to some of the homeless in Savannah.
After calling out for a response, a tall slender figure slowly emerged from behind one of tents. Without saying a word, his skinny black fingers motioned for to me to come closer. I slowly turned my head the other way as my stomach began to feel uneasy, regretting my stubborn decision.
Looking at my group member, I suddenly froze as the man began to make his way toward us. At that moment I started to think about the route I took to get to this point. If there was ever a need to run, I knew that I had to pass the torn down make shift basketball hoop, take the sharp turns through the trees, and try not to stumble on the rock my partner did on the way in.
Staring him straight in the eyes we began to ask him questions while the other looked out for any sudden movement. His responses were mumbled, as he constantly pointed to the tents for us to follow him.
Suddenly, a women wearing the biggest smile on her face approached us. The man turned and walked back toward the tents.
She allowed us to talk to her and her boyfriend without hesitation. As she shared her story, her attitude remained humble and hopeful despite their current living conditions.
The smile never left her face as she showed us around their new upgraded tent they received as a donation. I began to feel for her as she told her daily struggles of not being able to use a restroom, take a hot shower, or sleep in a bed.
Leaving them with nothing but smiles, I realized that you can never judge a book by its cover. The next time I ever see someone in need, there will be a feeling, an urge to help in any way possible. Whether it is 50 cents or a dollar, you never know how much hope it can give to one person.