Trying to fight off the winter doldrums, I’ve been racking my brain to find things to do outside my apartment. In that vein, I spent some time wandering around Home Depot one night last week.
As I meandered past the appliances, through the lighting and down the aisle of toilets, I dreamed about someday owning a home — a place where I would raise a family, hold barbecues in the back yard and spend time with the people I care about.
That dream brought me back to a week earlier, when I spent a couple hours in the Civic Center Parking Garage in downtown Rochester. I was photographing a homeless outreach ministry based out of St. Mary Church for a series of stories we’ll be publishing on poverty over the next two months.
What struck me most about the homeless men I talked with was their persistent capacity to dream. They shared dreams of meeting basic needs as well as dreams of not being looked down upon by society and being able to discuss their situation with the mayor.
Sure, a few of these men smelled of alcohol and fit parts of the stereotypical image of a homeless man. But ultimately, these men were down on their luck. One man I met left behind a home and a family in Puerto Rico in hopes of building a better life here, yet he was spending his nights on the concrete floor of the parking structure.
I don’t know exactly what blessings led me to a life so different from these men, but I did learn one thing that night: We’re all human, and we’re all dreamers.