Have you ever wondered what the homeless guy you see on the street did for a living? What brought that person to such a low point? Usually you have to just guess but I new a couple of people that went from good jobs, a stable home and respect to living in abandoned cars and surviving on begging. Usually it was Drugs (Heroin was a popular favorite in our neck of the woods...) and Alcohol.
One guy was responsible for getting four or five of my friends dad's good paying jobs in the city. But he had a serious drinking problem that cost him his job and eventually led him to live in the street. His wife and family moved on without him. People in neighborhood would laugh at him when he was drunk and fumbling about.
Few tried to help him.
It angered me when I was young. Of course, to be fair, I don't know the whole story. There is usually a story to every tragedy. I'm sure there were people that tried to get him help. But of all the homeless people I have encountered in my life, he is the one that has stayed with me. I suppose its because I knew him when he was a successful family man with a job, home and the respect of the people he lived next to.
To watch his descent into homelessness was heartbreaking. I don't know what became of him. I hope that he managed to get himself straight before it was too late but I just don't know. Growing up in New York City you tended to become inured to homelessness because, well.. they were all over the place. You couldn't walk in Lower Manhattan without having to step around three or four of them. Most were hidden under filthy bundles of old newspaper or cardboard. They were invisible because they were so prevalent. Hidden in plain sight. I remember one guy that would sing for spare change on the IRT #4 Train. Imagine if the internet was around back then? He'd be famous.
So then I see this link about a homeless guy with a great radio voice. People were calling him the Golden Voice Guy. Not exactly clever but certainly catchy. I watched the clip on youtube and found him to be humble and gifted with a velvet bass that would have made Don Lafontaine (The Quintessential Movie Voice Over Guy) proud. His story appears to be on its way for a happy ending. If you have no idea who Lafontaine was - you do, you only think you don't - check out this soundboard with samples of the man's work.
I was happy to find out that Ted Williams (Golden Voice) was getting job offers and even a home. Ah, behold the power of the internet. See? It's not only used for evil. Every once in a while something actually positive happens...