Timothy Las Vegas, NV

Meet Timothy, six months ago he had a seemingly normal life for a young man in his twenties. He had friends, a new apartment, and a job working hard for a paycheck at the end of the week. That was until he woke up in a hospital bed, incapable of remembering who he was and what had happened. He had a small skull fracture, which racked up medical expenses he could not pay for and left him in pain. Timothy fell into a depression, leading him to hang out with the wrong crowd. These individuals that he has since parted with were involved in crimes and drugs which negatively impacted him as a whole. The medical expenses took over his life and he was incapable of working his normal job. He lost his apartment and became someone he didn’t want to be. He needed change. His poor health and constant need to understand what happened haunted him on a daily basis. A few months later, Timothy was entered into a cognitive program which worked to regain his memory and get him back on his feet.

Since participating in the cognitive program, he has decided to change his direction in life and surround himself with individuals who will build him into the man he wants to be. He is currently struggling with homelessness and lives on the streets of downtown Las Vegas. He surrounds himself with a group of young men who are working to get off the streets and they protect one another during this mission. During our interview, Timothy asked me if he could write down a few things he wanted us to share within his story. He is the first individual to ever sit down and write his own fact in my notebook. He wrote about changing his direction in life and how he has learned to value personal freedom and is working to understand who he is and where he wants to go.

Timothy was nervous when we asked to take his photograph for the story to protect himself and the freedom he has found. He agreed to let us take a photo of the side of his face. I find myself scrolling back to look at this photo often because he seems so strong. He is looking determined to a better future. I am not the only one who saw this potential. Following the event that we met Timothy at, my mom had taken an interest in him and chose to help him out. Timothy had spoken about being unable to afford his needed medicine so my mom offered to drive him to the pharmacy and pick up his prescribed medication. He was so thankful forthis act of kindness and his face lit up with happiness.

Timothy is one of those individuals who genuinely connects with others. You can sense how educated and dedicated he is just by speaking with him for a few minutes. He has been through a lot, which has taught him about the important things in life. I had such an incredible time getting to know Timothy and I hope you enjoyed his story as well.

Timothy, if you are ever reading this. I hope you know that getting to know you was an absolute pleasure and I sense so much potential within you. I hope you work hard to get back on your feet and be the man you plan to be.

Thanks for reading,

Raven Las Vegas, NV

As many of you know, I am a huge fan of strong women who make the most of life on the streets. That is why I am so excited to introduce you all to Raven. Raven grew up in a small town with her mother, who was her everything. Her father had left at a young age and her mother did everything in her power to provide a good life for Raven. She grew up in a happy, little house where she was raised to make the most of what she has. She admired her mother her so much for being an incredible example of what a strong woman looks like. Raven’s mother sadly passed away, leaving her alone in the world.

In Raven’s grief, she needed a major change and craved love and someone to share her life with. She met a nice man online who seemed like the whole package, so she gave up the life she always knew to move to Las Vegas after a few months of talking. For a while, everything seemed good. She was happy for the first time since her mother had passed and she was looking for a good paying job. Before she could settle in, the man she had moved across the country for had other plans and left her high and dry. She couldn’t come up the other half of the rent he left her, so she was forced out on the streets with no one to save her.

When most people would feel defeated, Raven felt empowered. She was on her own for the first time in her whole life and was forced to make the most of life on the streets. She had a new found confidence and finally felt secure in her own skin. She had no one to answer to and no expectations to meet. To make money, she collects cans and turns them into a local recycling agency. This provides her with enough money to have food and water and she does her best to save by going to local shelters for meals. Although the shelters provide a lot for individuals, she feels most comfortable living in her tent on the streets in downtown Vegas. I asked if she is ever nervous about being a woman alone on the streets, she mentioned that she does everything in her power to avoid conflict and this keeps her out of trouble. She maintains good relationships with other individuals on the streets but is also very selective with who she trust.

Raven’s biggest struggle on the streets is finding shelter in harsh weather and keeping clean. In the downtown area, business owners are very strict about not letting homeless individuals use restrooms so finding a place to wash up is difficult. She said the best place she has found is a gas station about 2 miles away from where she stays. Although this is not the easiest life, Raven has found happiness in her struggle. She makes the most of her situation and that is why I admire her so much. I often look back at the photo we shot for her story and think about how genuinely happy she looks.

I hope Raven’s story inspires you to be happy with the situation you are in and to make the most of the world around you. Life is full of good things, you just have to be willing to look.

Raven, if you are ever reading this, I hope you know the incredible impact you have had on me. You have shown me to make the most of my situation no matter how stressful or hard things get. I cannot thank you enough for sitting down with me and letting me get to know you. Please stay safe and never lose your optimism.

Thanks for reading,