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Eric Colbert: an Angel gives him hope

Wed, Jan 30, 2013

Eric Colbert

How long have you been with StreetWise?

I worked [at StreetWise] before some years ago and then came back, but I’ve been here about a year now. I sell my magazines in Evanston, in front of Jewel Osco.

What brought you to StreetWise?

Well, my daughter’s mother passed away. She had diabetes, high blood pressure and was in and out of the hospital. Her name was Tina. So I would stay over at her house and help her with the things that she couldn’t do and help her with our daughter, Angel. Then Tina passed July of last year.

It was hard on my daughter, [who is 4 years old now], because she went to go live with Tina’s mother and then I started going through my situation, which was homelessness. I’ve been struggling with it on and off for years. Losing Tina just sent me into depression, and I do suffer from chronic depression. That’s why it’s hard [to keep a job], because of my depression.

I’m surprised by that, because you always seem so positive…

Well, my counselor taught me that when I see something that depresses me, I need to counteract it with joy, happiness laughter and thinking good things.

What types of things help you out of your depression?

My daughter inspires me. I had to work hard to get her something for Christmas and then try to take care of myself at the same time. But that’s why StreetWise helps me to make money to be able to do that and find somewhere decent to sleep. But Angel is my priority and she’s the one that gives me inspiration to go out there.

Eric’s daughter, Angel

Do you have any career goals?

I’d like to do something that uses some of my talents in writing music. I’ve also got a vivid imagination and I like to write. I just want to get better and better. My daughter has been wanting to come home with me, so I need to hurry up and do something before my daughter gets older.

Do you have any dreams for your daughter?

I want her to learn music. I want her to learn how to write it, read it and play it. I want her to know who God is, too. I definitely want her to know that. I tell her that when Daddy’s not around, I want her to be able to pray. I always help her pray. I say, “come on now, pray… remember? Let’s talk to Jesus.”

When you’re out selling your magazines, what helps you get through your long day?

I think about [my customers] and their smiles and it uplifts me when I see people smile, even if they don’t buy the paper. And I try to tell jokes while I’m out there so I can stay happy. If my environment is happy, then I’m happy. And I want [my customers] to know that I care about them, even if I don’t know all of them personally. I have a concern for them and I want them to be happy and comfortable.

Brittany Langmeyer
StreetWise Staff

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