Posted on April 13, 2017 by -

“I tried to told ya but you didn’t want heard me”-

by Juston Winfield, HTC Guest, at the 2018 Interfaith Memorial Service for the Homeless.

Published February 2019

“I, Juston Winfield, was homeless for 4 years and the Rebuild/ Harry Tompson Center opened their doors for 4 years with loving arms and made services available as far as medical, legal, hygienic, and arts and crafts available for those who are less fortunate.

We take this moment to remember those who passed away due to exposure of the elements, of the weather. I was one of those people who really didn’t feel comfortable staying in shelters. I stayed under Ponchartrain Expressway.  I stayed on Julia and N. Tonti. I never went into shelters on Freeze Nights. I just put a blanket on my tent and had a baking pan inside with candles lit to keep me warm.  These are some of the obstacles that homeless people go through in fear of going into a shelter: fear that legal documentation that I accumulated on the streets would be lost or stolen and fear that I would have to reset and start all over again with documentation.

I would encourage the wealthier class of people not to treat homeless people bad or disrespectful because….Facebook quote… “We are the same. You could be one hospital bill away from homelessness.”

The Harry Tompson Center/Rebuild Center made other services available for me to be able to start a career with art and photography. I was encouraged to go forward. I recently purchased an Artist Permit and I sell art now. I have been housed. I still go to the Rebuild Center to see those faces that were there for me. When I had nothing, those faces I will call “Grace Faces.”

As Art By Jaw would say,  ‘I tried to told ya but you didn’t want heard me.’”

Want to read more stories of courage from HTC guests? Click here to go to the archive.