The Way It Was With Vernon

I Never Gave UP

I met Vernon at the Sunday Friendship Breakfast recently, a place where I have been shooting. (I hope in some small way my photos help to raise awareness of the hunger/homeless problem in RI). He wanted to tell his story, perhaps so others would not go his way. We met a few days later. He was proud that he had a job now, laying floors and installing appliances in a fixer-upper on Princeton Street. He showed me his work, and it was good. We had a sandwich at a fast food place of his choice on Broad Street and he shared a sad story of growing up without much, raised by a single mother in Hartford, CT. His dad was long gone. He began abusing alcohol and drugs as a teen and became an addict and pusher.  Eventually he was arrested and put in prison where he spent many years. After release he had difficulty adjusting, and landed back to jail again. He said he made many mistakes along the way. Fast forward to the present; he has reconciled with his father and found a good woman to love. He is still homeless but hopes to get into subsidized housing soon. Things seem to be looking up for Vernon. But it isn't easy. Below, Vernon while he tells me his story.