—Darnelle Williams is a business professional who has worked in the insurance industry for more than 23 years. Presently, he is a supervisor and certified arbitrator. Darnelle is also an entertainer and appeared on “America’s Got Talent” season two, and worked weekly for the La Jolla Comedy Store’s “Best of San Diego.” Darnelle appeared on three national talk shows and enjoys community nonprofit work. He’s a duel title-holder for the Imperial Court de San Diego and is a member of the LGBTQ Black Coalition. Darnelle can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m an overweight, black, gay, professional, formally homeless youth, former addict, married man that is a proud descendant of slaves. I have a liberal/conservative, and oftentimes, libertarian-leaning view on life and believe we are at our best when people in positions of power move out of our way. I value freedom and thoughtful opinion.
People living on the streets has become an epidemic in our city and our state. I have grown to consider my time living and surviving as a homeless person a blessing that I wouldn’t wish upon anyone. I remember being bathed in gas station bathrooms in the dark before school. I remember my mom begging to get me into free lunch programs. I remember the cold nights with not enough blankets. And I remember the times when there was just enough money to get a cheap hotel room for a few hours and my mom would plead for a little more time because I hated having to check out and go back to the streets. Not having an address is a sobering and humbling situation that has made me appreciate everything. In hindsight, I know what we needed, and it wasn’t a dollar or two — we needed an opportunity, we needed someone to give us a chance.
With this platform, we have a seat at the table. What are your thoughts on the increasing number of Americans on the streets? I want to hear from you, I want to hear your black voices.