A majority of the individuals I meet within the streets are older than me and trying to get back on track with life. For the first time since starting Can You Spare A Story, I met someone who is exactly the same age as me, struggling to get back to life before it has truly even begun. I connected with Patrick on a multitude of different levels including age, a passion for creativity, and a constant battle for self-love.

Patrick is a 20-year-old young man living on the streets in downtown Phoenix. His creative and accepting personality makes others feel comfortable and appreciated within seconds. Patrick is constantly aiming to build others up, leaving him with no energy to keep himself afloat. His love and compassion for others is apparent upon first glance but his depression and anxiety holds him back from reaching his full potential.

Patrick was born into a military family in Arkansas. His father who served in the army passed when Patrick was only three. Patrick’s father was his ultimate hero, a selfless man dedicated to his country and his family. The loss of Patrick’s father dramatically impacted Patrick as he felt that a piece of himself died with his father. Since childhood, Patrick was obsessed with the idea of joining the Marines and serving just as his hero of a father did. He even participated in ROTC during his high school career to set him up within the military. Sadly, the world had other plans.

Patrick moved to the Phoenix area with a friend looking for a new start in a new town. Their plan was to stay with his friend’s girlfriend but things did not work out as planned. Patrick and his friend were soon separated and Patrick was forced to find his own method of survival. At just 20-years-old, Patrick was forced onto the streets with nowhere to turn. Although his luck had turned sideways, his passion and creativity did not. Patrick found love in drawing and creating anime. He shared with me a few of his favorite sketches and I was completely blown away by the talent he possesses. Patrick hopes to one day find a career drawing, writing, and producing anime. His passion and drive is inspiring as he spoke of his dreams of someday making it off the streets and into the position of his dreams. I hope to be a part of his success as I believe he truly deserves it. If anyone knows someone within the field of anime, please contact me so we can give Patrick another shot at life.

On a daily basis, Patrick and his friends struggle to find food, shelter, and a place to bathe. While this misfortune would hold most of us back, Patrick powers through with jokes and laughs. I met Patrick at our first Phoenix event with The Outsider’s brand, he had tied a string to his only bag and was walking it like a dog to bring others joy. He laughed and giggled with his friends while in line and I knew I needed to hear his story.

Patrick sat with me and an older gentleman named Eugene for 2-hours. We spoke of dreams, downfalls, and the plan to get back on their feet. Patrick is someone who would do anything for anyone and his love for others is contagious. I am so grateful that I received the eye-opening opportunity to truly get to know Patrick on a deeper level. I truly consider him as a friend and someone who I hope to help get back on his feet. Once again, if you know anyone within the art or anime community who would be interested in working with this deserving, young man please let me know.

Patrick, if you are reading this, please know that I believe in you and will do anything in my power to help you reach your full potential. Your love for others in spite of your misfortune is inspiring and I hope you never lose your love.

Thanks for reading,

Sydney

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