Chameleons in Anaheim
Orange County…where housewives live in lavish homes and fight and gossip over menial matters; where Mickey and Minnie play host every day to thousands of visitors from around the world coming to visit the happiest place in the world. Well this is not reality for the 4200 plus homeless in the OC. In the course of a year, there will be 12,700 homeless people in Orange County. Of those, 60% will live on the street and 40% will use some sort of shelter; such as, temporary shelter, vehicles, etc.
Most of us don’t even see the homeless anymore; they blend right into the scenery like chameleons. And those that do see them either fear them or are annoyed by them…he’s the guy standing in their way begging for spare change as they try to enter the 7-11. Well Mr. John Phillips was one such chameleon.
Mr. Phillips was a BMW technician for 28 years before he lost his job in 2001. He and his wife soon divorced around the same time. After being unemployed for several years, he thought his luck had finally changed when he landed a job with a commercial cooling company in 2009, but due to a falling economy he found himself unemployed once again.
John became depressed. His only option was to get government assistance through California’s Department of Social Services. Under this program, the government provided John with financial assistance, in return John was required to work at the food bank in Garden Grove. John describes this as the beginning of a new chapter in his life. The director at the food bank introduced John to an employee of Mercy House.
Send us your story if you believe it may help or encourage someone. If your story is selected to be printed on this web page, we will send you $200, although the real reward would be the chance to help others going through a difficult time.
John W. Phillips
John considers himself to be a work in progress. With the help of Mercy House, he is being acclimated back into the workforce where he is relearning valuable life skills; such as, resume writing, interviewing, and dressing for the interviews. John is now in the One-Stop Senior Program, a program designed specifically for seniors.
Since he's been with this program, John has been gaining his confidence back as well as his dignity according to John. He has been supportive of various volunteer programs and has even been the catalyst for some. We here at All Checks & Loans consider John a friend and we appreciate organizations like Mercy House that recognize and foster the potential in our homeless community.