Guest Column: Homeless Grandfather Grapples with Self-Image

John P., a 52-year-old resident of the Cochran House homeless shelter in Hastings, raised his daughter with love and respect before becoming homeless.

How I feel about being homeless!

I know l don’t look homeless. I’m not pushing a shopping cart with all my possessions in it. Dirty and unkept. But when I walk down the street I feel like people look at me like that.

I know it's because of the way I feel about myself. It's not a very good feeling! Shameful, lazy. But I'm not. I'm a single parent that raised my daughter with love and respect. We always had a clean, comfortable home. Margaret did so good in school that in August of this year she’s going to graduate from nursing school. [She] has been happily married for five years and I'm the proud grandpa of a 4-year-old granddaughter, “Teagan”.

This is the first time I’ve ever been homeless! I don’t know the proper channels to get help. I don’t even ask for help. It doesn’t feel right! I’ve always had a job and take care of myself!

John P.

Editor's Note: Homelessness rates in Dakota County and other suburban communities in Minnesota have risen substantially in the last five years. This letter to the editor is part of a Patch series exploring that trend. Click on the links below to read other articles on the topic.

  • Aug. 13
  • Aug. 14


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »