Texas Connects Us: Everyone Has Something Important

The people who lived in Dallas' Tent City moved out this week. The city forced them out of the homeless camp under Interstate 45.

Some of the people moved into area shelters, while others just moved to other outdoor campsites.

Like the rest of us, everyone at Tent City has something they treasure.

"How would I describe life," asked a 62-year-old man named Cooley. "There's gonna be ups and downs."

Cooley has three kids.

"That I know of anyway," he said.

He believes his kids live in Dallas, but he's not certain. He can't find them and he doesn't even know if they're looking for him.

"I kinda dug my own holes," he admitted.

So, what's the most important thing he does have?

"I'm gonna say the ability to persevere. I can't tell you I got this ring my auntie brought me from Germany. I can't tell you that. I don't have that. But I do have the ability to persevere."

A few block away, a 61-year-old man named Tino was briskly walking down the street.

"I've been in Dallas for three years, " he said.

What brought him here?

"Bad choices," he replied. "I came chasing a woman. She went back to Chicago and I didn't feel like going back to California because I kinda like Texas."

His prize possession is a $43 backpack.

"All my personal belongings are in here," he said. "It's a sturdy one and can hold a lot. The stuff inside means a lot to me, too."

He pulled out a green knob for a water faucet.

"Sometimes you need a drink of water, so you gotta have a way to open it, he added. "Yes, it's illegal, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do to survive."

Sitting on a sidewalk outside of a convenience store, a 55-year-old man named Clifford puffed on a cigarette.

"I went to work and my arm started getting numb," he said. "I thought I had a stroke at work. My arm wouldn't work and my body was talking to me and said, 'I think you need to go to the emergency room.' They told me I have inoperable lung cancer and brain cancer."

So, what's most valuable to him?

"My future," he said, fighting back tears. "Because I don't know what's going to happen."

On a park bench outside Dallas City Hall, Linda was resting in the shade.

"No weapon formed against me shall prosper, I'm more than a conqueror," she said with a smile. "Yeah, I know God's word."

Linda drives an 18-wheeler.

But she's stranded in Dallas because her license is expired.

"I was a truck stop, but that didn't last too long," she said. "So I'm out here now."

Linda needs just $61 to get back on the road.

"It sucks," she admitted. "I gotta deal with it. I gotta come up with $61, plain as day."

Everything she owns fits in a green bag by her side. So what's most important to her?

"Right now? My life," she said.

All of us have something special. Linda, Clifford, Tino and Cooley all have similar circumstances, but different perspectives.

"That's life for you," said Linda. "What don't kill you, makes you stronger."

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