The world is full of homeless people who have fell on hard times for one reason or another. But, no matter how they got there, it is a tough life that many, without the help of society, find no way to escape. The stigma of being “homeless” has managed to keep assistance dwindling because society has written them off as drug addicts and alcoholics that buried themselves in this situation. When the real back story is that more of these stories than we know are common stories that resemble our own lives.
Juan Jordan, 42, is a single Dad living in Washington, D.C. He has a daughter, Kai (who just celebrated her first birthday), that he has been carrying with him wherever he goes since she was two months old. Her mother is on drugs and has been in and out of rehab facilities, one she was even kicked out of. She relinquished the child to Jordan and he has been taking care of her ever since.
He gets up every morning and feeds, bathes, and clothes her like any other good parent. The only problem is that they woke up every morning to their routine while living in abandoned cars, bus shelters, and people’s homes.
After some time, with the assistance of Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless — they received a spot at the old D.C. General Hospital. According to the Washington Post’s Petula Dvorak, this is a much safer place for them, but the challenges remain. Dvorak wrote a piece in December on whether parents regretted having kids and, although reluctant, she got him to participate. This story brought light to his situation.
She received greeting cards with cash in them addressed to Jordan, but had no way of contacting him. She left messages for him at the shelter where he was staying, but, it wasn’t until he was able to secure a good plan for his cell phone that she was able to take him the cards, one which included a check for $1,000. She wanted to take pictures of him with them to assure readers that she had delivered them.
Shedding light on the situation that he’s in not only helped him, but brings the human face and natural dilemma back to the forefront while shedding the objective moniker of homelessness. Jordan is scrutinized because he is a man with a baby girl on the streets. He said:
“When he goes to check on the status of a child-care voucher, or a housing spot, or even at the doctor, he gets the same question: ‘Where’s the baby’s mama at?’
‘Why don’t they ask all those mamas that every time? I don’t hear everyone always asking them: ‘Where baby daddy at?’ Nah-aw. But they ask me. Every. Single. Time,’ he says, unleashing.”
Jordan’s story is like numerous others. He fell on hard times after he lost his job where he had been working as a “building maintenance engineer” for years. But once Kai came into his life, he simply changed his priorities…living in a homeless shelter or not:
“He said he wouldn’t change anything, even though he and Kai were living in a shelter.
‘Nah. What else would I be doing that means anything?’ he replied. ‘You just change your priorities. And now, she’s my priority.’
Jordan sets an example that all parents can glean an invaluable lesson from. Even in the face of insurmountable odds, he took his baby and gave himself to her when he had nothing else. We applaud and give a standing ovation to you, Mr. Jordan.
We want to see them get housing and other resources, so if there’s anything anyone can do to help, contact Petula Dvorak here. If the page looks blank, it isn’t. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to compose an e-mail to her. Continue reading the full story here.