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He stands at the stoplight in his long black coat, no matter the weather.

So proud and dignified, holding his sign, a beautiful soul without a home. Every time I see

I wish him well and give prayers and hopes of miracles and sometimes have given him money.

He's a mystery, the man on the sidewalk with his sign, asking for help.

*

I don't know his name or background or age, just that he has more dignity than most people I see.

I can tell he has inner strength but I don't know his name.

I have to help those in need and let them know that they matter too.

I have been in their shoes, but never held a sign.

*

I worked full time and still became homeless, a woman, yes me.

It was very difficult to live on the streets, fair and easy game to the hunters.

One night with Melody in an abandoned house,

Nights inside a public bathroom with another homeless woman, a bed of concrete.

*

Most people look away and don't see that person asking for change or a bite to eat.

They only see garbage, not a human being who is suffering.

But beneath those dirty tattered clothes and unwashed body is a precious soul,

Maybe given dirty looks or silent death threats or forgettable epithets.

*

It could be you at the corner one day without a home, a job, a car, loved ones, your health.

It can all be taken away within the blink of an eye.

Please don't make an automatic assumption, even if it could be true.

That could be you or a loved one, without a penny to your name or perhaps no teeth.

*

I just want to open your mind a little to see.

And the rare times I can, I give enough for the person to rent a room. One night off the streets, safe.

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