Their Story Matters with Sara Troy and her guest Dennis Cardiff aired October 13th
Telling The Stories of Those Too Often Ignored
Throughout the past four years I have met many people, now friends, who for various reasons are, or were, homeless.
Writing about the homeless and helping the homeless, has given my life a purpose that it didn’t have before. Documenting their stories will, I hope, introduce them to the public in a non-threatening way. Some panhandlers look intimidating, but that disappears when one sees them laugh. A typical day for me involves taking the bus and walking two blocks to work. I pass Joy’s spot every day. I usually sit and talk with her for twenty to thirty minutes. Chester and Hippo may drop by to chat. Most afternoons, depending on weather, I walk two blocks to the park where the group of panhandlers varies in size from two to twenty or more. They don’t panhandle at the park. Like a soap opera, every day is different; some scenarios will carry over a few days or weeks. People will disappear for weeks or months due illness, rehab programs or incarceration. When I met Joy I was going through an emotional crisis. Meeting her and her friends – worrying about them and whether or not they would be able to eat and find a place to sleep – took my mind off my problems, that then, seemed insignificant. It was – is – truly a life changing experience.
SEVEN FRIENDS AND A DOG DIED DURING THE WRITING OF THIS BOOK ……………………….
Dennis Cardiff has been involved with street people since 2010, when he began to reach out, on his own, to some of the people without homes who he encountered in his daily life. In his new book, he documents conversations he’s had with them over the past 4 years and, in the process, gives those who are often robbed of their humanity a human face. Written in diary form by month, and including some of Cardiff’s own poetry, the author chronicles the lives of people who are often ignored, feared or reviled.
We can do something about it if we stop ignoring them.
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About this project, Cardiff says, “Some panhandlers look intimidating, but that disappears when one sees them laugh.”