Thursday, November 20, 2014     Volume: 29, Issue: 17
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The Homeless Project

At New Times, we believe that homelessness is not a problem that can be attacked with money or plans. When we think of homelessness, we don't think of statistics; we think of people. We think of people who've had problems in their lives, and they all have a story to tell. We believe that common sense is the only way we'll ever come close to ending homelessness. This is our common-sense approach, and these are their stories.

James Coleman

James Coleman likes to talk. Fortunately for his listeners, he’s acquired the gift of charming gab. Even when he's clearly talking nonsense, you can't help but smile and enjoy the show. He hails from Somerville, just outside Boston, and when he gets going his home brogue tumbles out.

Coleman is a jack-of-all-trades. He has a part-time moving business, SLO Morro Bay Movers, which he runs with some friends in a partnership with U-Haul. Unfortunately, business has been soft lately. Even when business is good, it isn’t sufficient for him to live on. 

So he's working on other ideas to get ahead. And he's got lots of ideas.

He has ideas for karaoke bars, ideas for new TV game shows, and a plan for a happening nightspot—a classy joint where quality artists, as well as gifted amateurs, could perform. Coleman can sing, he says, and he likes to help others sing.

Coleman came up from Southern California two years ago and hasn’t yet been able to find a permanent place to live. He had been staying in a trailer, tending a garden to pay rent. The owner sold the trailer, and Coleman has been living in the "bush," as he calls living outside, ever since.

Once he had saved some money, he invested it in the stock market.

"I took a gamble in the market," he said with a laugh. “I forgot to sell."

So far, few of his ideas have panned out, but he remains optimistic. He's hoping to find a place to live and a laptop computer that would help him to get back on his feet. He also has his eye out for potential investors. He's always on the lookout for work; he can garden, paint, move, and do a number of other things.

Everything he does can be summed up in his motto, he says: Help others, have fun, make money.

Send offers of assistance to homelessproject@newtimesslo.com.

 

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