Many of those who have little experience with the homeless often ask us, why are these people homeless? What is it that put them on the streets?
Today, we bring you Andy’s story. Every time we see Andy, more lately than in the past, he asks us to pray for him. Today we asked Andy Why?
Andy explained the main reason he is homeless is because of his family. Growing up, Andy remembers his aunts and uncles starting him off on drugs and alcohol . He was very young , 8 or 9 he told us. “I used to get high with all my aunts and uncles and I used to drink with my mother”.
The drugs and alcohol got worse as he got older. He never got along with his step dad and remembers physical abuse to his mother. “She chose him over me” Andy explained with tear filled eyes. My mom was constantly kicking me out of the house. I had to go stay with my aunt or my grandma. Andy was expelled from school in 9th grade for dealing drugs. He ended up in job corps and graduated with a GED and a technical trade as an auto body repairman. He remembered his mom visiting while he was at job corps and said they got along real well at this time because his step dad was in prison. After his step dad got out of prison they started drinking together a lot. He recalls a lot of fist fights because of the abuse his mother had to endure. Eventually his mom told him "you need to leave for good, because I can’t have you fighting like this." This is when Andy found himself on the streets. Andy got real close to his mom again after he moved out. He remembers her giving him money and supporting him as much as she was able. “She got real sick and died of lupus.” He told us, as he tried to wipe his eyes dry. It’s been a hard life for Andy. When we asked him what special prayer requests he had, he said “For my health and for me to get a good job”
Andy is a Friday favorite. He is patient and kind. We have never smelled alcohol or suspected drugs. He continues to try to turn his life around, but it’s hard to do on the streets.
Andy is in the black shirt between Brian and Leo, 2nd from the right as you look at this photo.