Homeless By Choice…Twice

When we think of homeless people, we think of adults but we never think about homeless children. In many Latin American countries, we see a lot of poverty and many women with their children begging for money. We don’t know their stories and often pass them by without hesitation. Every person has a story and for Roy Juarez Jr., he has made it his mission in life to share his in an effort to help others.

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In the U.S. there are 1.6 million homeless people, including children. Juarez and his family were a victim of domestic violence. When his mother found his father in an adulterous relationship she asked him for a divorce. That’s when he became violent and in an effort to run away from the broken home, he and his siblings went separate ways, living with friends and relatives that would take them in. Except Juarez wasn’t able to find a home, so he became homeless at the age of 14 and lived out of his backpack for 2.5 years.

He roamed the streets trying to find something to eat and even remembers eating ketchup packets to stay alive. One day he snuck into a hotel where a conference was taking place. He got a free meal and heard a life-changing speech by Lieutenant Colonel Consuelo Castillo that changed his life forever.

That day he went to a minister’s house and asked if he could live in the church and in turn he would clean. The minister refused and instead took him and his little brother to live in their home, but he had to go back to school. He graduated high school at the age of 20 and then enrolled at a community college.