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Counting blessings, not problems

I’m homeless. Man. I can’t believe I’m like this, but I’m gonna make it.

Bob, Homeless Elders client

Bob will proudly tell anyone who asks that he is 74-years-old.

“I thank God that I made 74! If I live to see March the fourteenth I’ll be 75. I feel good,” he said.

These days, he spends his nights in a rooming house while he waits for a place to call home. Staff from Catholic Charities’ Aging and Disability Services is working to help Bob find a permanent home and stay on top of health needs which come with advancing age. A simple, one bedroom apartment is now his dream home.

With your support, the program has been able to help him pay for his stay in the rooming house and help Bob wade through the paperwork and red tape involved with getting on the waiting lists for senior housing. You also provided resources to connect him to a health plan care coordinator who helps him with his medical needs.

Homelessness can be a windy road to navigate, one Bob never thought he’d have to contend with.

Bob was born in Alabama but has called North Minneapolis home since 1975. He first became homeless in the fall of 2017. He had enough cash to pay rent, but not the $10 he needed to buy a money order. Between that and an emergency trip to Hennepin County Medical Center for a possible stroke, his rent didn’t get paid and Bob was evicted.

Even with the trauma of homelessness, Bob tries to focus on counting his blessings, not his problems.

“I believe in that man up above. Man, I don’t go to church every day, but a lot of people say ‘why do you pray for the dead?’ I pray for the dead, the alive, all the sick. Man, I pray for everybody. I bless my food before I even think of eating it. I thank him for waking me up every morning.”

While he has back pain and is slow to start walking after sitting awhile, Bob is thankful for his health and the simple joys of life.

“I’m not like I used to be—out drinking, acting a fool. I don’t do that anymore. I just don’t like being around a bunch of people anymore,” he said.

To unwind in the evenings he watches old episodes of westerns. The Lone Ranger and Cisco Kid are among his favorites. When asked if he’s a Vikings fan, his face scrunches up and his body twists.

“Am I Vikings fan? Of course I am a Vikings fan,” he proclaims.

He also loves to watch the Timberwolves, Twins and Lynx.

When his favorite teams play, he will venture to a restaurant and watch the game on the big screen. Even amidst challenges, Bob searches for the joys. He intends to keep on doing that—and thanking the Lord above for all of the joy he reaps.

“I’m homeless. Man. I can’t believe I’m like this, but I’m gonna make it,” he said with a smile.

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