Showing posts from August, 2012

FAMILY: Seeing My Mother/Family Face-to-Face for the First Time in 18 years

My mother's sermon on her 75th birthday

Many homeless people have lost contact with their families for various reasons and I'm no exception to the rule. In some cases, it's in direct connection with them having become homeless. I would dare say that, more often than not, it is the homeless person's sense of shame and not the family's rejection of them which is to blame for the loss of contact. In other cases, a person becomes a substance user and gives little or no thought to the concept of family. Still others develop mental illness that diminishes their ability to relate to or interact well with others and which may even cause them to develop unacceptable, problematic behaviors that their families are not capable of dealing with. Then again, even homeless people can have falling outs, vendettas or long-standing disagreements with family members just like housed people often do, as was the case with me. Nonetheless, my story ends well. As a matter of fact, things …

REPOSTED from August 27th, 2009: A PERSONAL STORY -- Contacting my mother after 11 years of not speaking

REPOSTED from August 27th, 2009 in lieu of my recent trip to Florida for my mom's 75th birthday.....

TREAT: My mother's sermon on her 75th birthday

Millions of people around the world have heard about my advocacy efforts for the homeless community of Washington, DC. I've been quoted or written about in the New York Times, Washington Times and Washington Post. I've been on WPFW Radio, NPR (National Public Radio) and CNN. I've even been on a Russian TV station that broadcasts to 100 million people.Few are they who know anything substantial about me as an individual.

So, here it is. I was born in Atlantic City, New Jersey. At the age of 8 months old, my skull was fractured by my biological mother. I then spent 5 years in a foster home, before being taken in and eventually adopted by Rudy and Joanne Sheptock. With the focus of this post being a recent reunion with my adoptive mother, I won't delve into the details of my childhood or what it was like growing up in …