Some homeless people are six months old.

Recently, I was going through a report of people that had just moved out of the shelter where I work.

One person in particular struck me: A six-month-old baby who just moved out with his mother.

He became homeless AND rehoused all before he was six months old.

He won’t even remember having been homeless.

And it made me wonder…

Will his mother ever tell him about how she felt bringing a newborn to a shelter? How it was the hardest thing she ever did in her life? How she did it for him? So he could eat… so he could have a safe place to sleep?

Will his mother ever tell him about the 1,000 times she wanted to give up? How every day she wiped away the tears and kept going for him? How she knew that his only chance at life was for her to create a life for them out of sheer willpower?

Will his mother ever tell him about the herculean efforts it took on her part to get them out of Hesed House? How companies didn’t want to hire a young, single mother? How difficult it was to find affordable daycare? How many apartments were out of their price range?

Will his mother tell him about the day they moved out of the shelter and into their own apartment? How she only took five minutes to breathe and relax before jumping back into working nonstop? How she wanted to make sure that he never had to sleep in a shelter again?

I hope so…

Someday he will look for role models.

He needs to know that not every hero wears a cape.


Ryan Dowd

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