My Friend Eddie

Posted by Mike Chapman on October 17, 2020 at 2:00 pm

This week I made a friend. His name is Eddie.

I want to be very careful about how I write about me coming to know Eddie. And by referring to him as my friend, I’m voluntarily obligating myself to actually being a friend. It’s a characterization I don’t want to take lightly.

You see, I met Eddie on the street. Specifically, I met him on the sidewalk next to the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless, aka The ARCH. I met him when I spent one day with the homeless of Austin.

My other new friend, Alan Graham, introduced me to Eddie. They met each other on the street.

Eddie is homeless and can be found next to the ARCH, living on the sidewalk, outside of the resource center for the homeless in Austin.

Eddie is a real person. He worked at the Driskill Hotel as a cook for over twenty years. He grew up in Lubbock, Texas. I didn’t ask how it came to be, but it was obvious, that he went from working all his life to living outside the ARCH, where he is today.

How did Eddie end up where he is? Before this week, that’s where I would have probably concentrated my thinking. Not today.

I’m not tempted, as I might have been before this week, to figure it out. I’m more in a mode of acceptance that it is what it is. What I am not prepared to do is accept it as something that I can do nothing about.

I don’t know how, but I want to try and help Eddie find a place to live that has a door, indoor plumbing, electricity, a refrigerator, maybe even a television. He deserves that dignity.

I want to know more people who’ve ended up in situations like the one Eddie has found himself in.

Alan Graham has some ideas on how to house the homeless and to help them find a little dignity in the meantime. I’m going to see what I can do to support him in those efforts. If you’re interested, please follow our progress here and on the Mobile Loaves and Fishes blog.


Category: Social Media, Poverty

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Comment by David J. Neff

Made October 17, 2020 at 2:23 pm

Mike all I can say is this is amazing. And next time you do this I want in. We all talk Social Media for Social Good you make it happen with posts like this.

Comment by Michelle Greer

Made October 17, 2020 at 2:26 pm

Why did he lose his job? What sort of job would he want?

Comment by dena

Made October 18, 2020 at 7:35 am

Bless you Mike for the posts on the homeless community that you have been submitting. You’re opening a window on a world that is unfortunately pretty much invisible.

Comment by RoundSparrow

Made October 18, 2020 at 11:11 am

Mike, I’m curious as to his age. if he wants steady housing, it may be a good way we can help to see if he has he fallen through the cracks of the government systems? Texas has a lot of unclaimed benefits already allocated. Can we help get him food stamps, social security, etc? Not having a steady mailing address or not knowing the resources available (post office delivery) can be a problem.

For example, homeless people may not file their tax returns - and not get the rebate checks.

Being paperwork and red tape challenged can be a factor in why some people are homeless. The online community can do a lot to help research, find options, help complete paperwork, etc.

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