Day 6: Meeting Jason, Former Cajun Cook turned Artist

Today, I met Jason from New Orleans. Jason was one of the friendliest people I have ever met, not just through distributing our Travelers, but in general. Jason and I chatted for almost an hour with so many stories he shared, experiences he was both proud and disappointed to share, among others. 

Jason was from New Orleans and had been experiencing homelessness for nearly ten years. Approximately ten years ago, Jason’s daughter passed away, leading him down a path to ultimately experiencing homelessness. Before these events, Jason was a Cajun Cook in New Orleans. He shared stories about cooking Gumbo, Crab Soup, and Crawfish, and suddenly I could picture Jason behind the stove cooking these fantastic meals. Just from a few moments of chatting, Jason was the type of person who you would want cooking your food. His lighthearted and genuine personality would have lit up any kitchen!

Stories like Jason’s are an important reminder that people are experiencing homelessness for truly different reasons, and I can honestly say, after distributing roughly 15 Makeshift Travelers, there has not been one case that has been the same. However, if there were one common denominator, it would be family. Because even when challenges occur in life, for most, family is there as a sounding board or assistance. But in the rare cases when no one is there, unique circumstances of homelessness can arise. 

Jason was so appreciative of receiving his Makeshift Traveler and began to tear up, saying, “you may make me cry,” as he chuckled. Then, easily my favorite quote I have heard since distribution began, laughing he said, “man, I feel like Marty Mcfly in Back to the Future”. He was notably excited about the ease of charging his phone. He mentioned, “there is nowhere to charge my phone, so it’s been dead for probably a week.” After a few seconds of charging, his phone was on. As mentioned on this blog, beyond the utilities and gestures of our Makeshift Traveler, Jason most notably just appreciated someone to chat with him. 

Jason’s contact information was obtained, and we are in contact with him to help alleviate the challenges of experiencing homelessness. Please consider donating to Jason or purchasing some of his art. Click the button below, and select “Write a Comment” with Jason’s name.

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