Homeless man reflects on March on Washington Anniversary

10:27 PM, Aug 28, 2013   |    comments
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WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- It is clear, we have made much progress since the historic March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom 50 years ago, but many say we haven't come far enough.  

For Miguel Elerson, every day is a reminder.

The 56-year-old holds down the median at 27th and K Streets in Northwest day after day. 

"Sometimes from 10 o'clock in the morning, sometimes in the afternoon, depends on the weather," he said.

Elerson holds a sign asking for a job. Born in Detroit, raised in Alabama, he's now here in D.C., living on the streets, and asking people who pass by in their cars to give him a chance, "This (sign) doesn't say give me money or help me cause I'm homeless. I'm homeless because I'm out there. That's not why I'm here, I'm trying to get a job."

Elerson says it was a set of circumstances involving driving without a license that landed him in the district in 2004, out of work, and out of options. It's been 50 years since Martin Luther King, Jr.'s historic speech and Elerson says he thinks things haven't changed, "They're not hiring African-Americans right now it's like we're being forced out of the workforce nationwide, it's not just here, it's nationwide."

He says he voted for President Obama hoping for change, change he has yet to see. He also admits this is a tough life, "There's soup kitchens around and sometimes people give me money and so I don't have to eat soup kitchen, I can eat a meal.....I sleep on the ground, it depends on the weather usually I'm in a good spot, if not, like I said, I'm a roughneck from Detroit, I can sleep anywhere."
He stands on the median every day. Today, drivers look away, and he has no prospects, "I'm living on the street, and living on the street it's hard to hold a job. but I'm going to do everything I can to get a job and get on the clock."
His is just one man's story, it's not indicative of what most people go through. But, we wanted to give Miguel a voice on a day when we heard so many.

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