Yesterday, I spoke with a young homeless man who was having a bad night on the streets of Longmont.

He had recently been released from jail and the conversation began because he was wondering if HOPE could help him get to his next probation appointment next week. The appointment is in Greeley and there isn’t any public transportation available between Longmont and Greeley.

He was frustrated about how difficult it was for him to do the right thing, which was to continue attending these appointments.

He lives with a disability and is unable to work, but his disability payments were recently discontinued because he missed his re-certification appointments, which were scheduled in Boulder without his knowledge.

Because he no longer has an income, he is having trouble getting vital prescriptions filled for his illness. He doesn’t have a phone because he can’t afford to pay for it. He sleeps outside every night. He was standing in line that night for a sack meal which would be his dinner.

We talked for a long time, him doing most of the talking because I didn’t know what to say. I offered HOPE’s help in whatever way we could and congratulated him on his drive to do the right thing even though it was difficult.

He said, “You know what I want to do?
Leave this town and go somewhere where no one knows me.”

I certainly could understand that impulse, given everything he was dealing with.

“But I won’t,” he continued. “Because a good friend of mine told me that I needed to face my problems, and I gave him my word that I would. Then, a few days later, he passed away.”

As he rode away on his bike and I watched him disappear quickly into the landscape of downtown Longmont, I was left thinking about how courageous he was, to face so many obstacles and to continue to try to do the right thing.

It never ceases to amaze me how resilient the people we serve are. Despite all the barriers they face, they continue to get up each day and try to surmount them.

I’m so glad that HOPE can help with little things like giving the young man a ride to his probation appointment or helping him to fill his prescriptions. When you’re in such a dark place, even the smallest bit of light being shined by a compassionate person can make a difference.

Christina, Program Manager