Prized Possession : Phone
Raised in the Five Points neighborhood of Denver, James has been homeless on and off since the age of thirteen and for one year this time around. While no stranger to this life, he still finds it a struggle. “I don’t like it,” he declares with a flamboyant wave, “because I’m usually pampered, spoiled, and I’m a brat.” James’ circumstances have varied drastically over the years. In the past he has worked as a model, a nutrition supervisor, and with children. He also endured a particularly difficult childhood which led to addiction. He recalls, “My mom was on crack, my brother used to solicit drugs, so to help make money I started selling drugs. I started meth at fifteen years old. I was kind of family hooked.” Fortunately, with the help of the Rescue Mission, he has been clean for a year and has just gotten back onto good graces with his mom.
Proudly optimistic, James keeps his sights on hopes for a brighter future. “I want to go to the west coast where I grew up from 17-24 and go back to school for graphic design as an art major.” Familiar with the full pendulum of life’s journey he knows which side he wants to be on. Nowadays, James puts his energy into caring for others in his community. The others around him described him as “a blessing on the streets.” He explains, “A lot of these people I grew up with on the streets. A lot of these younger people I don’t know. So I have to teach the younger people the ways of the streets and be an elder and try to keep a job while homeless.”
Prized Possession: “My howly phone that I’ve had for a year,” he declares with a clear love hate relationship in his tone. Having made caring for others his priority, James’ mobile phone keeps him connected to the outside world. “It’s how I keep in touch with everybody, facebook and all that. It keeps me in touch and check up on people to make sure they aren’t dead from overdosing on drugs.”