Q&A with a homeless man
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado Winter makes living homeless harder. But Feed My Sheep associate director Kenneth Williams said theres about three people in Glenwood Springs this season who plan to make it the whole winter camping on hillsides near the city. The following is an edited interview with one of those people, Tom Goodman, 54.When did you start living out of a tent? Ive been camping since 1992 in 23 states since I got divorced.How long have you been in Glenwood Springs? About eight months. I came to Colorado in 1978 and never left.Where did you live before? In Grand County. I camped in Fraser, which is the coldest city in the U.S.Why did you come to Glenwood Springs? I heard about it. Glenwoods a pretty area.Do you work? I cut trees for a living.Any other jobs before? I was a carpenter.How do you deal with the cold in the winter? I have a tent, and enough gear to keep me warm to 30 below.How do you feel about the term homeless? Just like the sheriff told me last summer, Im not homeless. I got a tent. I just dont have a mortgage payment. I work when I want to. I dont have the responsibilities and stress that other people have.Would you be able to live this way without Feed My Sheep? I would just have to work a little bit more. I dont think it supports a homeless lifestyle because most of us work. I dont depend on this center. I just like it because its a place to socialize.What do you do for food? I seldom eat here. I go to City Market and buy food.How do charities in Glenwood Springs compare to those in other cities? Theres services in every city. Theyre real good here. I wouldnt say theyre better than any other place, but theyre real good here.Do you ever miss your traditional lifestyle? My lifestyles no different than anyone else really, its just I aint got a house. Its my choice. Im doing what I like doing. I prefer the outdoors. Im healthier living outside.Would you ever consider going back to a more traditional lifestyle? I would consider going back but not right now. Im a single guy. A relationship would change it. I enjoy just working two or three days a week and just fishing the rest of the time. Its like Im semi-retired.Why didnt you just go back to an apartment or something after the divorce? I have no idea why I didnt do that. My parents ask me every time I talk to them. I just enjoy the outdoors. I like the lifestyle. People with a house, a 40-hour-a-week job, theyre worrying more than I worry.Dont you have to worry about other things living outside? I worry about my tent when it snows if its going to collapse. Thats about it.Do you plan to stay in Glenwood Springs? It depends how the spring goes, but I really want to go to Alaska. Right now its tough to find a job. Thats the only thing that would make me leave Glenwood.Contact Pete Fowler: email@example.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO
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