I’m Still Learning

Image of a sign that has a drawing of a village with the words "N Street Village."

Johnathan Comer

I’ve been homeless for a year now and have been kicking out cover letter/resumes every single day.

So, I’ve come to realize since being homeless you just do what you have to do and learn how to relax. Believe me I have learned how to sit still l-not in the usual sense of the term – but to relax and slow down. I’ve been able to take care of my health and learn new things from many other homeless men and women. Quite a few of them are very talented. Meeting them would shock the pants/ dresses off many people who mistakenly believe that homeless men and women are simply drunks, drug addicts, and mentally ill. I also know many people who aren’t homeless who have mental illness or who are drunks or addicts. Since, I’ve been homeless, I’ve learned plethora of interesting things by spending my time with N Street Village. I’ve come to the understanding that mental illness is a hereditary disease and that an individual life can be caught up in it suddenly. I’ve come to learn more about myself too. I have realized that I wasn’t always the open-minded person I thought I was. In the beginning of the process of becoming homeless, losing my job and getting evicted from my apartment, I was ashamed. But as the months moved on I began coping. Rather than remaining penniless, in September 2011 I began selling Street Sense. Facing the choice of living in the streets or in a shelter I decided I preferred the shelter. I have learned far more from the N Street Village women than I would have learned if I had bought or read a book about the life experiences of someone else.

Every woman who participates at Bethany Center/N Street Village has enlightened me on all sorts of issues. Last year and towards the New Year I wanted to end it. Now I have to say thank you to staff and interns and all of the wonderful women at N Street Village who have become my friends who taught me how to “sit still.” At the age of 56 I’m still learning and believe me this journey isn’t easy for me, but I have met some great men and women along the way. Thank you again. I’m still not perfect and don’t want to be perfect, because it is too much energy involved and it is meaningless. God didn’t make our bodies perfect. Whatever I am good at I just do it. Yet I still might make mistakes along the way.

Issues |Living Unsheltered

Region |Washington DC

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We believe ending homelessness begins with listening to the stories of those who have experienced it.