Saturday, February 26, 2005

AP Homeless Stories

In an AP feature story on the homeless a collection of stories from across the country are shared, including a story from Cincinnati:

Brent Chasteen slings a backpack over his shoulder and heads out on the streets.

An outreach worker, the 42-year-old Chasteen was hired by a business group called Downtown Cincinnati Inc. after the city enacted panhandling laws that require licenses for anyone who verbally begs.

Chasteen, dressed in cargo pants and hooded sweatshirt, works his way through downtown, handing out discount food cards to the needy, offering help to a woman bundled up and sitting in Fountain Square amid tote bags stuffed with clothes.

He later heads west to a desolate place near the railroad tracks where a shopping cart is filled with cans and bottles and covered with ragged green carpet.

"Hey, Wolf!" Chasteen calls into the winter air.

A purple sleeping bag tucked in a cardboard box moves. A man with a dark beard emerges.

Wolf has been homeless for 10 years.

"Trying to do what other people do - it's a losing battle," he says, sipping a can of beer. "I sit and look at everybody out there and I go, 'Nah, I'm OK where I'm at.' "

Chasteen makes no judgments.

"I know that we may seem to be in separate worlds on the surface," he says, "but many of them share the same kinds of problems that affect me and everybody else."
Chasteen has been featured locally for his efforts with homeless and issues directly affecting the homeless, the panhandling ID Card: In CityBeat, the Enquirer, the Post, and the Newsrecord.

1 comment:

  1. an utterly beauiful vignette into a moment!!!


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