Some say that war changes them, making them fear the world around, yet Jeremiah believes that serving four years as a marine in Afghanistan made him stronger than ever. Jeremiah seemed to have it made, he was madly in love with the girl of his dreams and ready to settle down after the military. His big plans changed when the love of his life decided to move home to Buffalo, New York to be closer to her family. Although Jeremiah was heartbroken, he supported her decision and knew that her family needed her more than he did. He was left alone in Las Vegas after an incredible 9 years with his girlfriend.

 

In a time of pain, Jeremiah fell into more trouble as his financial situation got tough and he was forced to move into a two-bedroom apartment with eight other people. At the time, he had no idea how many people were living in the space. The apartment was toxic, filled with negativity and bad decisions.  He felt trapped and needed a way out after a few different, bad situations, so he moved out onto the streets to face the world around him. He was alone and confused but understood it was his only option. Jeremiah has now been homeless for the past year. He has found 2 incredible travel companions whom he trusts with his life, a friend, and his beloved dog. The trio panhandle, praying each and every day to make it out alive. When most people would be freaking out, Jeremiah finds peace in homelessness. He is finally free to do what he wants with no one holding him back.

 

To make money, Jeremiah works on occasion as a stage handle at some of the downtown Las Vegas casinos. He enjoys the work and finds the behind the scenes action so interesting! Although he enjoys his work, the gigs are few and far between, leaving Jeremiah without a steady paycheck. On days he is not working, he is panhandling the streets of downtown Las Vegas just to get by. He mentioned that he has met a lot of kind people through panhandling who see that his intentions are pure and he is simply looking to survive. Jeremiah is a quiet individual who is more willing to talk about others than himself making our interview absolute torture for him. Through and through, he remained strong and kind starting to open up as we spoke on the street corner.

 

Jeremiah mentioned that he still talks to his father but he does not feel he has to be saved by him. He enjoys the life he lives and finds happiness in the unpredictable nature. His love for constant adventure inspired me to be more open to vulnerability within my own life. I feel as though I am constantly planning the future and attending meetings. I hope to implement more time for exploring the world around me without limits. Jeremiah, though he was short in words, had a dramatic impact on the way I view chronic homelessness and I hope he has a similar impact on you. Although Jeremiah’s life is not typical to the average person, he loves every minute of it and isn’t that all that matters?

 

Jeremiah, I hope you get the opportunity to read this and see how dramatic of an impact our conversation had on my view of the world. I admire your ability to go with the flow and be happy with whatever is handed to you. Thank you for sharing your story and teaching me the beauty of vulnerability.

Thanks for reading,

Syd

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