“I am vietnamese.” To compound the challenge of homelessness, Ben hardly spoke English. He came to America to be with his aunt three years ago, to pursue a life in America. He worked in a restaurant until it closed nine months ago. His aunt left him. “She go with somebody. I don’t know where she went.”
It was his hope to get to Washington, to the Vietnamese Embassy. He hoped they might be able to help him. He kept wiping his tears. He was a picture of despair. “I want to go back to Vietnam. My mom and dad are still there.” When I left him he grabbed his bags and walked to the corner. I watched him. He stood there, staring into the street. I walked a block away and when I looked back he was sill there, motionless.