[NEWS] Newall: After years on the streets, finding hope and a home in time for Christmas | Project HOME

[NEWS] Newall: After years on the streets, finding hope and a home in time for Christmas

 

From the Philadelphia Inquirer

Last Christmas, Ruben Rivera slept in the backseat of his father's pickup truck in Kensington with nothing to keep him warm but the heroin in his pocket.

If his father had found him tucked away in his truck in the Christmastime cold, Ruben does not think he would have invited him inside. That goodwill had long ago disappeared. Ruben doesn't blame him.

By last Christmas, Ruben, 55, had been living on the streets of Philadelphia for eight years. He had been living on heroin for much longer. He had lost three brothers and a sister to addiction. He wanted to join them.

He doesn't remember if that night in his father's truck, he even knew it was Christmas.

"When you're homeless and you ain't got nothing, you don't think about Christmas," Ruben said. "Christmas don't mean nothing."