The fatigue factor was probably the worst aspect of being homeless. There is so little rest to be had. Homeless people are constantly shooed away from anywhere that they could possibly relax and get away from the elements. Homeless shelters, while stretched to their limits, allow little relaxation for the homeless to get away from the day's heat or cold. Because of the hours of operation, there is so much time spent waiting in lines for various things there is little time to actually rest. Once you are bedded down it's late and then you've got to get up early to start the process all over.
I found out about Bread of Life through another homeless man. He told me of a place where food, showers, and a place to sleep were available. My impressions of the Bread of Life were positive, and admittedly, one of the most influential times of my life. I learned that it's okay to give of oneself. Whether the giving be money, time, possessions, or life's insights, giving to others makes you feel good about yourself.
The Art Project, Houston was WONDERFUL! The program, while probably not for everyone, offered me an artistic release. From the directors to the volunteers, I was given the tools and challenged to be creative. The program allowed me to open up as an artist and use different mediums to convey thoughts, emotions, and/or physical hardships or pleasures.
The interactions with the staff and other homeless involved in The Art Project, Houston is an experience I'll never forget. There is genuine love in abundance. There is virtually no selfishness; it's about giving, helping, guiding, and encouraging others to be better than they themselves think possible.
I am most grateful for the life lesson that it's okay to give of oneself to those less fortunate. I'm also grateful for the art lesson that art is not defined and definite, that it's okay to paint outside the lines."