I have spent a lot of time with this story trying to provide a walk in Gabriel’s shoes for all my readers.Many of us take the lives we live for granted, without realizing that homelessness could be right around the corner.A few months ago, Gabriel set out on a journey he had been dreaming about. He would be leaving his family and old home in Phoenix to start a new life in California. Gabe set out on his journey without a care in the world, just him and the open road… that was until his car broke down in Henderson, NV. Without the funds to fix his broken car, he began walking the streets of Henderson towards downtown Las Vegas as his car got towed away.
Gabe’s life went from a fresh start to homeless in a matter of hours, the towing company was asking $400.00 to release the car and in an instant… Gabe was stranded.
Gabriel’s journey hit a huge bump in the road and instead of a new start of freedom, it became a fight for survival on the streets. He started out looking for cheap hotels to stay in till he found work, but the hotel bills kept piling up. Without a dime to his name, Gabe was left sleeping with one eye open on the streets. He mentioned to me how grateful he is to the casinos and big businesses that come downtown to feed and provide for the homeless. He never expected Las Vegas to be such a giving community, he explained to me that strangers provided and granted him faith in humanity.
When I asked Gabriel what some of the biggest obstacles on the streets are, he answered, “staying warm and away from the crazies.” We talked about how the stress of the streets can cause people to go crazy. Imagining myself in this situation made going crazy seem understandable. When you are homeless, you feel like a constant outcast with the world against you. Gabe travels light, he carries his life around in a single backpack to make travel easier. My conversation with Gabe was short and sweet but I am grateful for the time we had. Gabe is a man on a mission and I know he will make it to California in no time.
Gabriel’s story had a different effect on me than any other story I have shared. it’s the idea that homelessness is much closer than we think.With a lost job, injury, or disaster, anyone could be that dirty face you pass on the street. I want you to take this into consideration next time you see a homeless individual begging, this could be you if something was to happen.
Thanks For Reading,