Van Edgewater is a Native American currently residing in a Salt Lake City shelter. He is part of an adult story writing project with teacher Tara Allred Niekamp, and he is writing poetry. The students are working to receive their high school diplomas.
By Van Edgewater
I am living in a man’s homeless shelter to get this education, so that I can better myself for the future. This situation has exemplified to me what kind of life I would have if I do not get a better education, and it starts with finishing my high school accreditation.
I truly believe now that an education, the right education, is the answer to all things possible; a better and possible brighter future; a means to an end in all things to live a conducive and consequential life. I need this education to be that person, the person that I was meant to be: a humanitarian who helps point people in the right direction without judgment, so that they themselves can be better contributors to their own lives and society as well.
As for me, I have been living on borrowed time, borrowed money, job to job to job. I have grown weary of it, and unlike the people I spend my evenings and weekends with, I have not given up, nor am I just living to die.
A conviction as to where I am coming from is to walk in my shoes for the day. I doubt that any of you would have the stomach to do it for six hours. I see people putting on their job resumes or college applications that they volunteer at the homeless shelters. Well, I guess that it all fine and dandy if you are trying to appease someone and look good at the same time,
If you could imaging for a moment that you are re-wallpapering your newly acquired home and that you started with the baby’s room, and all of a sudden you puncture the wall with your scraper, and out comes what seems to be hundreds of roaches. That is what I live with day in and day out, the underlying truth.
And I want to be a Social Worker.
After living with these forks since March, 2015, I have come to question my own matriculation. I have come to the conclusion that I abhor these people, and that they deserve what is coming to them. I have been pondering this thought for quite some time; I have talked to a trusted sister and a confidante friend of mine — the mendacity to myself would be to walk away from this. To stand at this crossroads at this age at this time, I have learned that life has not been easy, so why should the future be any easier. This is what I was meant to be.