Ed, originally from New Jersey, now calls Houston home. To be specific he has no home, he lives under a major highway on the Northwest side of town. He spends his days asking other people to give him a food, water, change or a clean pair of socks. "Some days people don't give anything and other days they bless [me]" he says. On the day I interviewed Ed people had given him about 3 dollars worth of change and a bag of food that he was very excited about. When I offered to purchase him something from the local gas station he responded "To be honest honey, I don't really need anything." Ed has been homeless this time around for 10 years. He got emotional when explaining that he hasn't always been like this. "I am very intelligent, I used to have a very well paying job, and now...I don't" says Ed.
To pass the time Ed "loves to read." He enjoys Dean Koontz, Stephen King and Dan Brown. The only thing he refuses to read are "romance novels and westerns." He says that he used to read 3 to 4 books a week. Reading is his "escape" and he would do so daily until the road construction crew took that away from him. "Darling do you know that they took my reading glasses and all of my books!"
I asked Ed if he had a message for Houston and his reply was "A lot of people on the streets are very intelligent, I met a guy the other day with an IQ of 230, Einstein's IQ was only 210, and now he is out here begging and no one will even look him in the eye. Some people choose to be homeless and some people just don't have anyone to call on. We have to start young and mentor our children so that they can always help themselves."
When parting ways Ed reconsidered my original question and shouted out "Hey, you don't have to buy me anything but If you have any books that you don't need can I have them?"