Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Santa Claus is Homeless

That's right, we have our very own Santa Claus at South Wilmington Street Center. His real name is Bradlee, but he answers to Santa and Santa Claus, because he looks like Santa.

Sadly though, he does not share Santa's magical nature. He is over 400 lbs, has Diabetes and breathing issues, to the point where he uses a machine to help him breathe. His legs and feet are discolored, and he can barely walk.

He used to be in the Merchant Marines, and has stories to tell from that era. He showed me a picture of Hiroshima after the bomb dropped and also ones he took there recently.

He was most recently a cab driver, but lost that job when the company he worked for made him take a physical, which he failed.

Yet he can be jovial at times. During Christmas he wore a red Santa hat and I'm sure the kids who came in to help serve thought he might be Santa. But this Santa is sick. A sick as the real Santa would be if he were not magical. He just got approved for Medicaid and is fighting for disability benefits.

Yes, Santa is homeless, jobless and sick and relying on the government for help. Let's hope this Santa gets his wish!