Imagine living on the streets of Asheville “off and on” the greater part of 48 years! Ronnie, age 55, has done just that, and says he has “seen it all.” He figures he knows more about the city of Asheville than even the Mayor, and can tell some astounding stories about our town. For instance, did you know there was once an underground bathroom in Pack Square? It was filled in and concreted over after a stabbing murder down there. Ronnie also tells of some gruesome vehicle wrecks he has witnessed, including one in which a passenger’s decapitated head rolled across the hood of the car right in front of him.
Ronnie is a pleasant, gentle man who has mostly done construction work (dry wall). He says he also worked for a time as a chef at the Grove Park Inn. He cared for his mother during her bout with cancer, until she died in his arms.
He is now disabled, having undergone several surgeries and had a stroke. He has great difficulty sleeping and walking, is in pain most of the time with a pinched nerve in his back, and suffers from ulcers.
Life for people whose home is the streets includes dealing with all kinds of weather. Ronnie says during the last few years he has been “frozen to the ground” at least three times, and once the folks who found him had to take off his shirt to get him up! He has camped in the woods near Sav-Mor on Patton Avenue, but currently is camping, with the pastor’s permission, in a church yard in the Oakley area. He has been notified by Homeward Bound that he may be getting an apartment soon, so please keep Ronnie in your prayers.
~ Please visit HSC’s Facebook page too: www.facebook.com/haywoodstreet.