Trying to Repair Broken Lives

The above headline ran in this morning’s edition of The Star Ledger. The Project Homeless Connect event held in Essex County was highlighted along with the stories of a few of the county’s homeless residents.

Trying to repair broken lives

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Anthony DeBow had it all. His mason business in Jackson Township was doing well. He was on top, making money, lots of it, until the economy went bad in 2006. The phone stopped ringing and construction projects began to dry up. His debt didn’t go down.

In a little over a year, DeBow, 49, didn’t recognize the life he had. His second wife left him. He was stunned, thrown for a loop. Three trucks and a crew of 10 withered away. Alcohol and drugs followed and he found himself spending nights at a Newark homeless shelter that he leaves by 5 a.m. to find work and services.

DeBow performed his routine again yesterday, stopping at the Essex County Skating Rink in Branch Brook Park for essentials others take for granted.

The doors opened at 10 a.m, but he was there at 7:30 a.m. He picked up some slacks, a charcoal gray coat. He ate a sandwich, drank some coffee to stay warm. It was chilly yesterday, the kind of cold exacerbated by misty rain falling on him and others waiting to talk with 50 Essex County social service agencies

To read the full article printed in The Star Ledger click here