Homeless veteran stirs photographer

This is Robert, he is a homeless vet. I had the chance to meet him while I was in downtown Minneapolis taking pictures for my photography class. Of course I don’t know much about him, but I did learn a lot in about five minutes. I approached him and explained to him what I was doing, and right away he was intrigued by the idea. I made sure to tell him I didn’t have to get his face in the picture, but he was quick to respond with an “Oh no, get my face in it, I’ll even say cheeeeeese. Whatever will help the cause,” he said. He told us a little bit about the war (World War II), a little bit about his life story and his family, where he had been and how he had gotten where he was today.

Photo by Bobbi Jo Schwieters
Robert, a homeless veteran.

We gave him some money and he was very grateful. Some people would say, “Who knows what he will do with that money?” but in my opinion, if that’s what makes him happy, then go for it.

He was the sweetest old man. He told us that people drive by and throw things at him like full pops from McDonald’s. They clearly haven’t had the chance to meet him like I did. I know it was just for a class, but it took all of five minutes and I am so glad I stopped.

His optimistic personality and positive outlook on things were contagious and actually pretty inspiring, and I bet a lot of people wouldn’t know that. Sometimes that’s all people need, to just know that someone cares.

“I’ll even say cheese.” — Bobbi Jo Schwieters, Elk River


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