Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Living in Chicago, I’ve seen hundreds of “homeless” decorating the streets, doorways and sidewalks of this Second City and many of the suburbs as well. In some areas they are so common as to seem almost invisible, blending into the background like so many camouflaged pieces of humanity. They are usually dirty and unkempt. Most have eyes that are as vacant as the lots and buildings they often use for shelter.

But for the past week, I’ve driven past a very different homeless man. He was middle-aged, clean-shaven, cleanly dressed with a very pleasant demeanor. His cardboard sign, which he held chest-high, said, “Homeless. Need Work. Have Resume.”

Have Resume.

I was impressed. Not only did he make sure he was as presentable as he could be, given his dire circumstances, but he had a resume to pass out to anyone who would accept it. Of the hundreds of homeless I’d seen throughout the past five years, he was the first one who took some of the money he panhandled and put together a resume.

He lasted four days.

Either someone hired him and he no longer needed to seek help on the edge of the highway, or he was elsewhere looking for help. I prefer to think that he found a job and will soon be in a new home.

Life’s quick little lesson on this one?

Always put your best face forward.

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