My mother called me last week and told me that my brother was about to get kicked out of the house that he is living in. The girl that has let him live with her, rent free, is tired of driving him to the clinic every morning, to school after that, and is tired of paying all of the bills by herself.
My brother is not an easy person to live with. I know this. I lived with him for 18 years of my life before I managed to escape and know very well the mess he leaves in his wake.
I picked him up a couple of weeks ago. His roommate was out of town at her parents visiting her children as she does every other weekend, and he needed a ride to work. He had gotten a job at Papa John’s and wouldn’t be able to get there ontime without a ride. I had nothing planned that day, so I loaded up Little Man, picked up my brother and took him to work.
“Hey, if I sign over this check to you, do you think you could give me some cash? I could take it to a bank myself, but it’d be easier this way and save me a trip.” He held his first check from Papa John’s in his hand. It was wrinkled and crumbled up from being in his pockets since payday. I usually don’t carry cash on me, but I did have some on me that day, so I thought I’d check and hope that it was enough to give him in exchange for his paycheck.
I looked at the dollar amount on his check. Twenty one dollars and ninety three cents. $21.93. Minimum wage for a 35 year old man who could only get a couple of hours a week at his new job that he was so excited about. Why was he so excited? Because he’d finally been able to get a job.
He started school in July. His roommate signed up for classes to become a masseuse and he signed up to learn air-conditioning/heater repairs. She was willing to take him to class everyday and the program is ten months long.
He finally signed up for school, got a job, and had a roommate who was willing to work with him and help him out. And now she’s kicking him out.
Without a ride, he loses his job, fails out of school, and is back at the homeless shelter.
I’ve had a rough day at work. And even on my roughest day, I don’t have to worry about where I’m sleeping at night.