Posted by StreetWise in Vendor Profiles
No matter what challenge life throws at StreetWise Vendor Herman Hatch, he will confidently look straight into your eyes, smile and say, “I’m blessed.” Even as he slept on a cardboard bed on the streets for the past nine months, he still thanks the Lord for his many blessings. “I know God can do some amazing things [and] he’s been good to me,” said Herman.
But this month, Herman’s cardboard bed has turned into a soft mattress; he is able to afford his own apartment thanks to the StreetWise staff, namely Greg Pritchett, director of distribution and vendor relations, and Executive Director Jim LoBianco. Now Herman has every reason to celebrate and thank the Lord.
“It’s great to know that people care that much about me, including my customers on the street. Every time I see a customer, I tell them about the good that happened to me. I told one the other day and [he was so happy for me], he gave me $20! I find that people are very compassionate when they see you’re trying to do something… do the right something,” said Herman.
He was able to locate a beautiful one-bedroom apartment through low-income housing. It’s located close to Herman’s regular vending spot at Adams and Wabash, where he’s been selling for the past 19 years.“I got a kitchen, stove, a refrigerator… all the stuff you need. I’m blessed. When you walk into the lobby, if they took you in there blindfolded and took the blindfold off, you’d think you were in the lobby of the Palmer House,” Herman said excitedly.
Herman continues to thank God for his incredible success and he believes that the Lord has shown many signs of His constant and unwavering love. To this end, Herman recalls a particular story. One day as he was vending, a man came over and offered him $20 for a magazine. Herman quickly replied that he had no change, but the man insisted that he take the money. The man crossed the street and Herman returned to work. But he noticed the man standing at the corner, curiously looking up into the sky. The man quickly came back across the street, came up to Herman, pulled a hand out of his pocket, handed Herman a large role of money and said, “God told me to give you this.”
“I was a little behind in my rent, so I’m looking at the money saying ‘thank you,’ because no one has ever given me anything like this before. But when I finally got my mind off the money and looked up, he was gone. I’ve never seen that man again. And I can only think that God sent an angel, because he gave me exactly the right amount for my rent,” said Herman.
But Herman attests that all of his customers are angels because of the kindness they show him every day. “They greet me every morning with beautiful smiles. And they always ask me if I [need anything], because they care about my well-being. I’m going to try and get a picture and write on it ‘good morning’ and if I’m about to die, I want to tape that poster right where I usually stand so that whenever anybody goes by, it still says ‘good morning,’” he said.
Written by Brittany Langmeyer