Thursday, June 4, 2009

A day in the life of a Hobo

You can never imagine living your life on the streets. There you see them standing at the traffic lights begging. With the money they buy bread and more important some alcohol. When the sun sets and it becomes cold they start drinking until they pass out and no longer feel the cold. Tomorrow morning they get up and it starts all over again. Do you ever look at them directly?...I you look them in the eye? Or do you look over them, pass them...through them?

I want to tell you about our experience as hobos for one night.

At the end of each year our church has a celebration evening for all cell groups. In Dec 2002 the theme for the evening was either to dress up in smart evening wear or according to a musical. Our cell group decided on the Oliver Twist Story and we all dressed in rags and looked like dirty street people. Our cell leader was also the master of ceremonies for the evening which was an added shock factor. We rocked up late, pushing a grocery trolley containing a dirt bin with our food inside in a cast iron pot. Most of the people did not recognise us. We looked around for the smartest table and spread our newspapers on the floor next to it. We sat on the newspapers with our candles in jam tins and eating from tin plates. It was interesting to watch the reaction of the other people in the church. Most of the people could not look at us, they really believed we were hobos. We had such fun, stealing food of the smart tables and generally being noisy, shaking collection tins for money and having a good time. In fact, I am pretty sure that nobody else had such a good time."

I did this layout with some of the pics taken that evening. (You can click on the photo to enlarge it)

Kobus and I started handing out business cards to the hobos of the city. Most of those on the streets today have in the past lived at the Centre for a time. They usually come to us when the first cold snap of winter occurs. The sad thing is that they go back to the streets the moment the weather turns toward summer. This whole summer I drove past "oom" Chris, standing at the traffic light at Greenacres. When he sees my car coming he hurries away, he can't face me. You see he had been in the Centre 5 times before and everytime when summer comes he hits the streets again. Last week I called him to my car, and he came but he could not look me in the eye. I told him to go back to the Centre, we would give him another chance... and the next morning he was there. I so hope that this will be the last time, he is getting old and I would hate it if he had to die on the streets.


  1. Yes, its quite tragic that quite a large number of hobos are hobos out of choice and prefer the life of a hobo to facing the raw deals life can throw at us. The story behind the layout makes it extra special. Hugs from Desire

  2. Lynette I must be honest I don't like giving money to beggars for the simple reason that most of the time they go and buy alcohol. I would rather make a monthly donation to a organisation like yours that help them. The ones that break my heart the most and make my blood boil are the street children. Their is no reason for them to be on the street as their are many good places that will take care of them and make sure they at least get a education.

  3. Looking at your pictures, gave me goose bumps.
    It is very interesting to know how people reacted.

  4. will not believe how much you can come to love these guys. I look at them and think...somewhere somebody loves them, somewhere there are children, wife, mother...that must be soooo worried about them.

    Bernadine...I have thought of ways to force them to get help. If a shelter sells coupons to benefactors that (tickets that guarantees them a warm bed, shower and a plate of food)hand the coupons out to the beggars. It will still be their choice to take up the offer....or not!

  5. Oops sorry, Bernadine about the street children...we have had a few of them, but they don't stay long. These children don't accept discipline at all...they rebel and prefer the glue sniffing etc on the streets.

  6. How sad, I hope he continues to come back!

    I love your fun Hobo LO!

  7. Hi Lynette!

    Great thought provoking content! Love the layout - what fun! Sadly the reality for the real hobos is rather different I'm sure. It is such a complex situation. The way I come to terms with it is to do my very best for my maid, my part-time gardener, the car guards at my regular haunts & some other Zulu people I know & have chosen to help. I can't do more. As Jesus said "the poor will always be with you". As I travel the same routes daily (& pass many beggars along the way) I just ignore them, because I'm scared that if I give them something one day they will be like bees to honey when they next see my car,lol! And I couldn't make it a daily thing!!!

  8. It is very sad to see the people on the street, but very difficult to help all of them. My hubby now has one family that he supports on a regular basis, the couple both have TB and are not well at all. We also feed the people that come to our door - it is only a drop in the bucket though!

  9. You're very quiet on the blogging front. Trust all is well in your life? Hope you're just very busy scrapping.
    I haven't posted your prize yet but will email you when I have, sorry!


Thank you for visiting my blog...your comments are appreciated ♥