This afternoon we were back in downtown Detroit to continue our project of interviewing some of the folks down there and telling their story.
We got to run into our friend Terry who was the first person we interviewed about 4 months ago. He was looking good and doing better and it sounds like he’s back in school
now. He did tell us some really unfortunate news that it’s rumored that one of the other guys that we had met a few months ago was shot and killed a few weeks ago. It’s
unconfirmed and probably never will be confirmed. It just goes to show how difficult life on the street can be and how quickly it can end.
After catching up with a few people that we knew, We saw Allan walking around with a big old grin and were drawn to him. He was excited to have his picture taken and very open and will to tell us about his life.
Allan was raised by hardworking parents, he went to catholic school while he was young and was then in an all boys military school.
He’s a very smart guy which was apparent just in the way he talked and presented himself.
Allan was excited to go to college and was even accepted to 6 different schools but his father wanted him to go to the air force and serve like the rest of his family did
Since receiving an honorable discharge from the air force, he was living in New York and then moved to Detroit to help take care of his parents. When his parent retired,
they moved out of state and soon after he was laid off from his job he had at Ford. Being alone and out of a job sent him into a difficult depression which he never fully
recovered from. Alcohol and drugs soon followed which led to other bad decisions and short term jail time.
Right now, Allan is staying with a friend and working part time home repair jobs to make enough money to pay his friend for a roof over his head.
He knows that he has the skills and personality to get a better job but when asked why he doesn’t get one he said “I am my own worst enemy.” He said that the depression that
he struggles with is holding him back.
Thankfully Allan is familiar with the Veteran’s Affairs office and is utilizing some of their resources to get help and treatment.
We’ll just pray that he can follow through with the treatments and get back on his feet.
He’s at a point in his life where he knows that he needs to make good decisions. He also knows that his current situation and his past mistakes are all on him and although
there are people in his life that could/would help him, he wants to deal with the problems that he created on his own.
We talked a little bit about racial integration and he said that he’s from New York which he described as a “Crayola box” with all races and colors mixed together where as
in Detroit, there is definitely more segregation. One of the things that Allan said he learned from his mom was that if you pre-judge someone based on their color or anything
else, you can miss an opportunity to learn something from someone who grew up with different experiences than your own.
That was a very eye opening line and I think that is also one of the driving forces of why I’m so interested in heading down to Detroit to talk to some of the folks down there.
These are people that live within 30 minutes from us and yet their lives and experiences are so different and unique…there’s always something to learn from everyone!
This is the smile that drew us to Allan: