Roshard Henderson, 31, is homeless and jobless in New York City. Every night, without a place to stay in, he sleeps on the train. Without a metro card, he gets into the station like this.
“It’s warmer. And nobody bothers you if you know how to handle yourself and conduct yourself (on the train). You sit there, get your head on the corner, they’ll just let you ride,” he said. “I can sleep all the way to 12pm in the afternoon.”
I met him in Penn Station during the city’s homeless outreach population survey on Jan 28, 2014.
He told the survey volunteer, “I want a bed, but I don’t want to go back to Randall’s Island.”
He was referring to the two nights he spent in a shelter on Randall’s Island about two months ago. “They weren’t really treating me right. I felt like in a jail,” he said. “It wasn’t the place was as bad, it’s just the people… People who work there thought I’m just another man in the shelter, a statistics.”
As a regular in Penn Station, Henderson saw a lot of homeless people like him. He complained that the city may build another stadium next to Yankee Stadium, but is not spending enough money to help the homeless.
Henderson is on the waiting list for transitional housing. He’s been waiting for a year and a half.
Henderson typed in his email address for me on my phone. It is the only way to reach him. He’s not a tech-savvy guy, and had to ask me how to type “@” on the touch-screen keyboard. He said part of the reason why he couldn’t find a job is because he isn’t familiar with online applications, and he has nowhere to seek help.
Photographed in Penn Station on Jan 28, 2014 at 2 a.m.
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