A Poem from “John”

By Kaitlyn Keffler
Change A Heart

Homeless Tents under Pittsburgh Bridge.jpg

This past Wednesday, a memorial service was held for one of our clients in our permanent supportive housing program. When cleaning his room after his death, staff persons found a poem that John (name changed) wrote. It is as follows:

Who is that at the end of the ramp
Oh look another Tramp
How does he make it day after day
Alone living on faith

Not alone
With whom does he roam
the earth with
God walks beside sometimes in front sometimes behind

A man with food + shelter on his mind
That is my daily grind
As people go by paying me no nevermind

I live on faith that God walks beside me
Sometimes in front sometimes behind
I have no reason to hide
cause God is always by my side


I think this poem offers a powerful, first-hand account of a person’s experience panhandling. I know this poem has surely altered by perspective on panhandling so I thought it would be a valuable thing to share. John is dearly missed by his friends and staff who remember him as a man with a large heart and welcoming presence.