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First day on the street: Reggie's story

Seven years ago, he was homeless after a layoff. Today, he's running the drop-in center for the homeless that helped him.

Reggie Cox became homeless in November 2012 after being laid off from his job in public relations

First day, sleeping out, sleeping outside. I went to the A.T.M. 24-hour banking area — lobby. And I'm looking around in there like, "Wow, I'm actually going to lay down and sleep here." I remember thinking, "I can't believe this is where I've come to the point where I'm actually sleeping in the banking area." But I was so tired and you're weary. So, you're weary, you're tired. So, at that point, you're just like, "I just want to sleep." When you're out here and you're homeless. I mean, you're dreading, you're dreading winter coming. This right here, this steady rain, a cold rain. And then sometimes it may not be quite cold enough for them to open to hypothermia shelters. But you're miserable.

Cox says a police officer told him about Charlie’s Place — a drop-in center that gives hot meals, clothes, haircuts, and medical care to people experiencing homelessness

Generally, I would come down to one of these benches down here a little closer to the White House. Some would sleep on the outer areas. They'd be you know; they'd be some here in the outer areas. And then I would I would generally come; it depends here, and I'd be a little more into the park here or over here. People generally come down even late at night, take pictures. One, two in the morning, even so, people were always talking.

In November 2019, Reggie was named executive director of Charlie’s Place — 6 years after coming in as a homeless man

You know, when you're tired, you were hoping things settle down soon. You know, you just, that's part of the experience. You can't. You don't have the option of being able to, "OK. Lights out. Quiet, everyone." So, you know, you have to go with the flow. I met some life-long friends. I mean, people that we became close. We were out here together, and we helped each other.

Brut.

01/15/2020 11:18 AMupdated: 01/15/2020 2:02 PM
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380 comments

  • Kamico T.
    05/04/2020 22:21

    As a person that works with the homeless I LOVE this story. Just goes to show you that the things people think about the homeless isn’t always true. ❤️such encouragement.

  • Anna T.
    03/03/2020 17:48

    Looo I I I OAmen my I I I On mi I’m

  • Derniere B.
    03/01/2020 02:22

    Wonderful

  • Loriann P.
    03/01/2020 01:54

    Praying is so powerful

  • Loriann P.
    03/01/2020 01:53

    God bless you.

  • Hector G.
    03/01/2020 01:39

    Congratulations Brother...🙏🏽

  • Margaret F.
    03/01/2020 00:10

    God bless

  • Alfred R.
    02/29/2020 23:32

    People just need a chance

  • NatMc K.
    02/29/2020 21:44

    I say this Often( Everybody has their own Story ❣️and WE don’t have a Clue what that Person is going thru ❤️

  • Irene L.
    02/29/2020 18:58

    Gratulation done something with yourself after you left a lost your job now you're working to help the other homeless people that is heroic should be proud of yourself pet yourself on the back and I hope you get a place you can stay an apartment or somewhere in the warm God bless you all and have a great day

  • Gail B.
    02/29/2020 17:48

    Thank you !

  • Rene S.
    02/29/2020 16:22

    God bless u my brother

  • Charlotta R.
    02/29/2020 16:14

    I wish they had this in Indiana. They dont like homeless people they chase them out to other city's I use to be homeless and I miss the people. We were family we helped each other Not happy with my life now.

  • Jo-Ann A.
    02/29/2020 06:22

    Wow!

  • K S.
    02/29/2020 04:23

    T that's very true it could happen just like that happened to me and my family

  • Charles U.
    02/29/2020 04:15

    God bless 🙏 & thanks

  • Tina A.
    02/29/2020 01:32

    Deep

  • Annette S.
    02/28/2020 19:17

    Amen 🙏🏼

  • Willie M.
    02/28/2020 05:23

    Good for him.

  • Chrislin P.
    02/28/2020 02:22

    Thank you for sharing