Tony

Tony; Las Vegas, NV

Today’s story is of a warm-hearted, always smiling, country-boy named Tony Homes. This small town boy from Arkansas came from his small town of 2,000 people to Las Vegas, a city of roughly 624,000 people. Feeling stuck working as a painter and handyman, Tony left for Las Vegas with 10 dollars to his name and a whole lot of hope. Since landing in Las Vegas, he has met his right-hand man and best friend Rick (who is really shy and didn’t want to share his story). He says they complete each other. Tony is very out-going and ready for fun while Rick is extremely quiet and rational. Together they make the perfect team! They have spent the last 5 months making their way around the valley, living on the streets and taking in all Sin City has to offer.

The craziest part of it all is that Tony is loving every second of his life on the streets. When many of us would crack under pressure, he is making the most of what life has to offer. With an ear-to-ear smile on his face, he explains to me that in life you just have to love people and love life because you can’t when you’re six feet under. He does everything in his power to make every day the best it can be and I think this is something each of us should incorporate into our daily routines. When I asked him what the hardest part of living on the streets was, he replied by saying, “Life can try to bring me down, but she can’t beat me.” He says, “everything on the streets is a little harder, but it isn’t impossible… Getting a shower and feeling clean is the roughest part.”

Tony has made many friends on the streets and has become a part of the community. He doesn’t have any blood-related family after his two daughters passed away and he lost his mother, who he wasn’t close to. He makes friends with those around him and makes everyone feel safe and welcome in his presence. Tony was not my normal story, he was very interested in me and hearing why I want to do what I want to do with Can You Spare a Story. He listened attentively and seemed to really care about the cause of ending the stigma against the homeless. Tony reminded me why I can’t give up on this goal, but little did he know, he is the real reason why I do what I do.

Thanks for Reading,

Sydney


Patrick

Patrick; Las Vegas, NV

Patrick is a special kind of human, the kind I aspire to be, one that has faith no matter what obstacles are thrown his way. Patrick is proof that life can change in a blink of an eye. One year ago, a 52-year-old husband, father, and minister came to Las Vegas from Cleveland, Ohio to find his wife with another man in their family time share. Heartbroken and confused, Patrick had no way back to Cleveland and no money to survive. He has been homeless in the Las Vegas area every since. When most people would feel defeated questioning the faith they follow, Patrick stayed true to his beliefs and continues to pray each and every day. He told me that he prays for God to helps those who help him. While standing on the street corner talking to Patrick, I was distracted by a tiny upbeat voice from a young boy in the back seat of the approaching car. The boy said ” Excuse me mister, I have something for you” and his tiny hand held a five dollar bill. I was so impressed to see so much compassion for the homeless from someone so young. I think more parents should teach their children to be so kind.

Patrick is currently begging on the street corner to pay for a plane ticket home. He has made enough money to afford to have a cell phone to get into contact with his 32-year-old daughter. They are currently working to do everything they can to bring him home to Cleveland. When I asked what he would want his family to know if they ever read this he simply stated that he misses them and will do anything to come home to them.

He explained to me that it’s ironic that he is in the place he is today because as a minister he traveled all across the United States from Miami to Seattle working with shelters to improve the way of life for the average homeless person. He now is being assisted by similar programs from local churches within the valley. Patrick told me that people provide for him, whether it be money, food, or even work. He has made friends with a few regulars who have hired him to do spot work around the house. Patrick lives by John 3:16 and continues to spread the word of God to those around him every day. Patrick is one of those individuals who makes everyone feel at home simply by just being a good person.

Within five minutes of meeting Patrick, I knew his determination, patience, and honesty would lead him home. I am so grateful for the opportunity to have met Patrick. I hope he gets home safe and back to doing what he loves most… spreading the word of God to those in need. I hope this story makes you wonder who you are driving by on your daily commute.

Thanks for reading,

Syd