A few days ago (Sunday August 11th, 2013), I read an article in the newspaper, titled “Homeless and hearing voices, Reggie’s life is a vicious cycle” by Claudia Feldman. It talked about a man named Reggie Sherman who had just got out of jail. He is mentally ill and is an alcoholic. He can also hear voices and he says that some of them are from the devil. This article shows the life of some of the people we meet at Food Not Bombs. He has an interesting but difficult life.
Reginald Sherman was born in 1962 in Texas. His mother died of cancer when he was only twelve years old. His father to him was a “criminal and unreliable”. His grandmother “tried to help him but by then he was hearing voices and joining gangs”. His mother’s second husband, Pop, was also into alcohol. At the age of 18, Reggie “was convicted of burglary of a building”. When he was 20 “he was arrested and charged with two counts of murder”. He was sentenced to 5 years in jail for each murder and took the chance to serve the sentences at the same time. Over the years, Sherman had been to many jails including the Harris County Jail. When he was in his twenties he started attending 12-step meetings and met a woman named Gwen Shelton, who realized that he was a nice person, but it is just that he was turning to the wrong people. When she got him social security checks and some clothing, he would give them away or they would be stolen. Reggie had been arrested by the Houston Police Department’ homeless outreach team about 100 times.
This article taught me how someone becomes homeless. Some people start with a mental health problem which makes them do bad things. This makes them wind up in jail. Then people want them to have a better life so they take them out of jail and into a hospital. But then, hospitals don’t have enough room for everybody, so they take them out of the hospital. Without a shelter, people like Reggie become homeless. I also learned about the debates of tax payers. On one hand, some people think, why should tax payers help people who can take care of themselves? Also why should they help a criminal? On the other hand, tax payers should be helping people because “individuals are judged by how they treat the least among them”, as stated by Sargent Steven Wick, from the Houston Police Department’s Homeless Outreach Program. This article taught me about some of the many problems people like Reggie struggle with, and why it is very important that all of us help each other.
To read the article, go to: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/life/article/Homeless-and-hearing-voices-Reggie-s-life-is-a-4723444.php