Do your believe individuals, like the gentleman in the following video, are lazy bums? Well you might just get a chance to walk a few miles in this man’s shoes, and very, very soon!
“I’m Not A Bum – I’m A Human Being…”
By Zen Gardner
A moving video posted on YouTube nearly a year ago is starting to get viral play now as the social news site Reddit is seeking out the homeless man it features, giving an honest account of what it feels like to be on the streets, looking for a job and to be called a bum. Ronald Davis of Chicago says in the video that he has been homeless for about a year and a half. The video was posted in July, so he has been homeless for at least two years now. He doesn’t say why. He has slept under bridges, in cardboard boxes and on benches when he doesn’t have enough money for the flophouse, a place where it costs $16 for 24 hours.
“I go fill out applications for a job and stuff. They look at me, you know, I’m not looking presentable and they ‘well, we’ll call you. Leave a number.’ But how can I leave a number when I don’t have a phone?” Davis says.
Davis’ morning panhandling near the train station downtown starts at 6 a.m.
“I depend on the people that’s coming off the train, because most of them, I give them respect. Most of them like me,” he said, noting that many will give him clothes, food or a few bucks.
“It’s really humiliating to be shaking a cup 24 hours a day and people looking at you like you’re some kind of bum. I have people who walk past me and say ‘Get a job, bum.’ And I say, ‘wait a minute, I’m not a bum, I’m a human being,’” Davis said beginning to choke up. “At the end of the day, when people go home and everybody gets on the Metra train …and then I just feel so bad that I can’t be going home,” he said apologizing to the person filming him because he was starting to get teary. “It’s really emotional because I’m really trying to get myself together and get off this street.”
Davis said he doesn’t care what work would be given to him, but only wants something. Panhandling has taken away all his pride. He said, at times, people look at him like he is a crumb.
Still, “no matter what people think about me, I know I’m a human person.”