Days before he was to move into apartment, Indy man dies alone, under a bridge. Wes Cunningham had no place to call home, but he had a family. Check out this story on IndyStar.com: http://indy.st/1RrJkOv
Labels mask the fullness of a human’s spirit. Wes wasn’t homeless – with “no place to call home,” in my opinion. If home is where the heart is, then the city streets were his home and many were his neighbors. Regrettable as his passing is, he clearly lived his life with intention and passion. Though he died alone, his loss was felt by many. Isn’t that how most of want to be remembered in the end!?
Fortunately, someone chose to tell Wes’ story. He died on the same weekend that Denver Hutt lost her battle with cancer. Her life and impact on Indianapolis were also celebrated in the news. Gladly, the media allowed us to learn of and appreciate how both of these leaders were an “inspiring example of how people can change the community when they are willing to engage and get their hands dirty” (from the article about Denver Hutt)…labels or not.
When we label someone “homeless” just because they choose to have another type of home than the rest of us, we run the risk of missing their full beauty, potential and gifts (as the term often comes with much prejudice, stigma and/or shame). Even when some may not have as much direct say in their living conditions, it still doesn’t do them justice to label them “homeless.”
So be honest – would you have imagined this funeral turnout for a “homeless person” (hate that term)?
“Smile at strangers. Be kind. Judge less. And hold the door.”
~ Denver Hutt, 2016
Sounds like Denver and Wes would have been good friends…