A Walk In These Shoes

A Mile With Roy

Come walk a mile with Roy.  He was born in July 3rd, 1957 in Greece.  At 5 years old, he and his family moved to Mexico City, Mexico.  They lived there until he was in high school.  That’s when the family moved to Waco, TX.  A graduate of Waco High, class of 1975 (or so).  I’ll explain the “or so” later.  After high school, Roy joined the US Army and was apart of the 173 Infantry division.  He served 4 years and got out.  He got a job as a Dual Press Operator here in Houston and started living the good life.  He says he had a really nice house, nice cars, and a beautiful Puerto Rican & Black wife.  So what happened……
Check this out.
In the fall of 2003-2004, Roy says that his father was very ill. The family claims that the father had a woman staying with him that was supposed to be helping him out but all she was doing was taking his money.  As a consequence, Roy’s mother asked him to move in with his father and nurse him back to health as well as protect him from the woman that was stealing.  He goes over there and a huge argument with his father ensues and from that point on, Roy’s life was never the same.
After the two argue about whether or not to kick the woman out of the house, Roy losing the argument, he decides to call a taxi and leave.  Probably because of the stress from the argument, Roy has a seizure in the back of the cab.  Everything goes black he says.  The next thing he remembers is waking up in the hospital surrounded by police officers.  He didn’t know what was going on or how he got to the hospital.  He says one of the officers asks him if he was willing to press charges, which confused him greatly.  He inquired as to what charges he was referring to and the officer informed him that after the seizure, the cab driver pulled over to the side of the road, dragged him out of the back seat, and left him on the ground.
The cabbie didn’t see the police on the end of the street and they were a witness to the whole “body dumping”.  Police said that when they made it to his body, he was in convulsions.  They transported him to the hospital and were able to catch up to and arrest the cab driver.  Roy says that he had no recollection of any of that and couldn’t help in the investigation.  Allegedly, when they questioned the driver, he said he didn’t know what to do and was scared because he was a foreigner.  Oh, the fare for the cab ride was $47.00.  This is back around 2003 so that’s a lot of driving to get to that amount.  But I digress.  He’s awake now and after a few hours he is released from Ben Taub Hospital.
If that isn’t enough to deal with, Roy says that when he walked to the lobby, he was hit with the feeling of “extreme lost-ness”.  Meaning, he didn’t know where to go, who to call, or even if the name he had in his head for himself was the correct name.  With this feeling, he starting asking people in the lobby “Sir/Ma’am do you know me?” It was at this point he says a security guard made him exit the building.  He said he went to what he knows now as Hermann Park, and sat down until he fell asleep.  He said he’s essentially been homeless since that point.  He didn’t know where his house was.  Didn’t know if he had a family or not.  And of course, he never returned to work.
His family has found him several times over the years.  They bring him back to Waco but he says he always ends up leaving again because he feels like he’s been “kidnapped” when they take him away from his concrete slab he calls home now.  He says when he walks around Waco, everybody stops him in street to greet him but they are all foreign faces to him.  It’s too much to bear so he finds himself back in Houston time and time again.
We talked in depth about daily life in the streets.  The fighting, the stealing, the harassment by police.  (he claims to have been arrested 182 times in 13 years) But the MEMORIES of his family keep him going.  He remembers his Daughter, Monica, who is a Doctor in Waco right now.  His Son, Roy Jr, who’s an engineer in Michigan.  His other daughter who goes to high school in Pasadena and his oldest son Johnathon.  The Greek born man can recall in some detail about his life before the accident but accounts of his life afterwards are extremely scattered.  He talked alot about his birth name which is Roy (I’m going to butcher this) Kalicgula Asamoa.  And he recalls his mother changing the family name to Vasquez while they lived in Mexico City so they could fit in.  I could write for days about our time together but he wanted me to put a message out to his family that he constantly thinks about you guys, he prays for you twice a day, once in the morning and once at 10:00pm, and lastly, he plans on leaving the street life and reuniting with family this Fall.

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10 thoughts on “A Mile With Roy

  1. This really brought tears to my eyes and so much awareness as well. Never judge a book by its cover. You never know what a person is going through or been though. Prayers for him great read thanks for sharing.

  2. Every homeless person has a story, it’s interesting to hear what brought him to that place.

  3. My God! Everyone has a story thank you for telling his. What an example to us all. Through it all he chooses to be better not bitter by connecting with our Heavenly Father 2x daily interceeding for his family in prayer.

    1. Thanks cuz. I got more stories to share. Just trying to follow in you guy’s footsteps and doing my best to contribute to the world.

  4. This is so sad I’ll keep this man in my prayers thank you for sharing his story! People need to know that things like this happen and as human beings we need to treat each other with respect no matter what! This could happen to anyone at any time it seems and we should never judge people on what we believe we see, you never know what someone has gone through.

    1. True True. I thought the same thing. An incident, through no fault of his own, set off a chain of events that could really happen to any one of us.

  5. Thank you for this article by humanizing a homeless person. Oftentimes you here stereotypes about someone on the street: they’re lazy, they don’t want to pay taxes, etc., but people rarelt try to dig down further into they story of someone. I’m glad there are ones like you that are helping to change ones’ thinking.

    1. I really appreciate the response. That’s my reason for doing this. We are so disconnected from each other, its become easy to write one another off. Some of the stories I’ve heard are so so sad. Im just trying to do my part to get people to reconnect with humanity.

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