In early 2002, I spent a great deal of time on the streets of Philadelphia talking with homeless. Fila was one of the first men that I met, and I was struck by his humor and ability. I was surprised that a capable 40-year-old man was sleeping on the sidewalk in front of the youth study center on 18th and Vine.
Our program assisted and challenged Fila, and he has been living indoors for 8 years now. He is a member of a local church, he rents an efficiency apartment, and is a weekly volunteer with Restart. There is still some work to do; Fila was holding the camera backwards and accidentally took a “selfie” while trying to snap a group photo.