Hopelessness to home, sweet home

  • Article by: DAVID JOLES , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 28, 2010 - 5:06 PM

Last Christmas Stephen Cross lived under a bridge in downtown Minneapolis."I found a little spot that just my body frame could fit in," said Cross, adding that he cleaned it with Tide and bleach before he laid down. "I wanted to look like a human being and feel decent when I come out from under that bridge,"  said Cross. Less than a year has passed and Cross has gone from hopelessness to getting an apartment at Hope Harbor, a long-term residence for formerly homeless people. He's also a newlywed. Cross suffers from bipolar disorder and PTSD. He's spent 17 of his 46 years in jail or prison and has attempted suicide multiple times. He says he feels accountable for his failures and his past poor life choices. "In my mind  I think that sometimes I don't deserve it (an apartment) and I might even attempt to sabotage it because I'm so used to the chaos. I'm not used to the stability. I'm not used to a wife." But now Cross is beginning to feel self-respect and says he is learning lessons he wished he had learned long ago, "I need to understand the full capacity of love because I haven't always operated in love. But there are people who have loved me back to life just by being consistent and tolerant and available." 

more rites of passage

Do you have a “Rites of Passage” idea?

Name:
Email address:
Your idea:
 
Close