We’ve begun an initiative to talk with young people about homelessness. We kicked off this effort recently, when Warren Theuret, our Operations Manager, spoke to several freshman classes at Casa Grande High School. (Warren lived on the streets for 13 years before coming to COTS and pulling his life back together.)

Following are some of the anonymous questions and comments the students wrote after hearing Warren’s story. The young people showed a lot of sensitivity to this important issue.

Some of their questions:

“Were you ever scared when you were homeless?”

“How did it feel to be homeless? Like, did people give you any spare change, or give you dirty looks?”

“Did your family help you out at all?”

“What do you think is causing the numbers of homeless to jump so rapidly?”

“What was it like living under a bridge?”

“Why did it take 13 years for your epiphany?”

“Did it hurt when you lost your things?”

Some of their comments:

“I think it’s really nice of you to share your story. It must have been tough to remember your old days of being homeless.”

“I have a friend who has an older brother who is homeless. I never really thought about it, but now I have opened my eyes to the homeless.”

“It’s amazing how positive you are about everything that has happened to you in your life. You are a very inspiring person all around.”

“When the economy fell, both of my parents were laid off. For a long time I was terrified that we were going to be kicked out of the house and put on the streets. Fortunately, through retirement funds, we kept the house, but I watched other people I cared about lose their homes. Anything that anyone can do to fix that is well wanted and needed. Thank you so much for being that ‘anyone’.”