“A Place To Live” written by 12-year-old Dylan

Curiosity. The little boy was full of it. He was always asking questions. Why is that? Who said so? Where did this come from? Not only did he ask these questions, he would dig deeper. If he asked about something and didn’t get an answer that satisfied him, he would try to find the complete answer. For instance, there was a time when the boy saw a group of tiny houses when walking with his mom. He asked her where the houses came from and who lived in them. The mom shunned the question just saying that people lived in the houses and it didn’t matter.

Shortly after asking his mom about the tiny houses, the little boy decided he was going to find out. He decided to explore the neighborhood where they were at. He quietly walked through the neighborhood looking for anything that could help him find the answers to his questions. Eventually, he found a little park in the neighborhood and a old sign that said, Established for the homeless. The boy was still confused and decided to ask someone sitting on a bench about it.

Nick was a nice old man, when the little boy asked him about the neighborhood, Nick agreed to explain. “A long time ago,” began Nick “I was living on the streets.”

“What do you mean?” Asked the little boy.

“I guess I better explain,” continued Nick “my brother was very sick and he needed a surgery. I had to pay for it, and after I had I was out of money. I didn’t have enough money to pay rent on my house, so I ended up living without a home.”

“I’m sorry” said the boy.

“No worry” said Nick. “Well, I was living without a home and I didn’t know how I was going to get by. I tried to find a home.”

“Excuse me,” interrupted the boy “what does this got to do with the neighborhood?”

“I’m getting there” proclaimed Nick. “As I said, I was looking for a house. Anything for me to live in. I knew that I would have to start by making some money. I had taken time out of work to help my brother. In the process, I had lost my job due to absence. I knew there were places that could use help. I also knew that these places would probably hire me if I proved that I could succeed in the job. After some time searching, I found a small job. I could help out at the public library and in return get a small pay. The problem was I only had enough money to buy food. I still didn’t have a place to stay. Eventually, I discovered the solution. When I was working in the library I met a nice college student. I talked with her and she learned that I was homeless. She told me that she was working on a project with her professor and some peers concerning the homeless. This intrigued me. I learned that they were making a documentary about the homeless. This documentary would show interviews with homeless people. The final goal would be to create a community of tiny houses for these homeless people.”

“Oh,” exclaimed the boy. “so that’s where this neighborhood came from.”

“Yes,” Nick replied, “and I volunteered to be interviewed. The student set up a meeting time for the interview. I was excited. When the day of the interview came I was happy that I could possibly get a tiny house. I met the professor whose name was Lucy. Lucy and the student that I had met interviewed me outside in the park. I was asked about what it was like to be homeless and why it was important to respect homeless people. I said that it was important to help people in worse situations than yourself and that it may give back to the community. Lucy talked to me and I responded, I knew that this documentary would make a change. I knew the tiny houses would help me and others in my situation.”

“Did it?” Asked the little boy.

“Did what?” Responded Nick.

“Did the tiny houses make a difference?” Restated the boy.

“Oh yes” Nick answered, “It did make a difference, a big one. After that interview, I was able to stay on my feet for the next two or so months. Then when I was least expecting it, Lucy found me and told me that the houses were ready. I got to move in. Lucy and some of her students were there to help me settle. Other homeless moved in. That’s why this neighborhood is here. It helps people get on their feet. I am here to help settle people in. After people get back on their feet they will move away to nicer houses; new people will then move into the vacant houses. I volunteered to help people move in, so I’m still living here. I know I can give to the community and help this way.”

“I still don’t understand one thing.” Questioned the boy.

“What’s that?” Replied Nick.

“Why did Lucy and her students help you?” Finished the boy.

“The same reason anyone helps anyone. They want to give back to the community and make it a better place.

“I see.” said the little boy “Thank you!”

The boy enjoyed Nick’s Story. He wanted to give to the community and the people in it. He had the great idea to get donations for Nick and the homeless community. He collected donations and gave them to Nick to help create more houses and programs for the homeless. Nick was thankful to the little boy for his support. The little boy was happy that the community could prosper.