There are many paths we can take in life. Street Sense vendor Phillip Howard believes that logical thinking and faith in God can be a big help in choosing the best way to go.
Howard has been with Street Sense ever since the newspaper got it’s start, back in 2003 with co-founders Laura Thompson Osuri and Ted Henson. He heard about the opportunity of selling the paper from a friend he met at a Miriam’s Kitchen event and decided to get involved.
“Nine years, a good nine years. I’ve had my ups and downs but it’s still a good nine years. I’ve met a lot of people along the way [and] I’ve seen vendors come and go but for me, I think it’s a great thing that Ted and Ms. Laura started the paper back in ‘03, because it gives a person a chance to make an honest dollar,” said Howard. He said he enjoys the spirit of Street Sense and is thankful that the office is located in a church.
Howard believes that Street Sense gives people a chance to get back on their feet and live a positive life. He enjoys the fact that many of the people who see him selling the paper in his bright green vest at Dupont Circle take the time to chat and get to know him.
“It’s very exciting to meet people along the way. From different walks of life. I’ve learned a great deal from different people as well as Street Sense itself,” said Howard. He said he puts confidence in the fact that no one can say he is doing any wrong because he abides by the rules and regulations.
“You’re not going to get me in no trouble, as hard as it is to get out of trouble,” he noted.
He said that working as a vendor at Street Sense has allowed him to think more logically about the decisions he makes and has brought him happiness. He believes that without happiness, a person really has nothing.
When he finds himself coping with the pains of daily life or hurt from the past, he turns to his Bible. He seeks comfort and guidance from God.
He believes that his life has taken the path it has because of his faith in God.
“Let God take you and do what he wanna do with you,” said Phillip.
His life has not been easy. He spent some time in prison. And when he was young, he, like many other kids, thought he had all the answers. Now his heart goes out to young people he sees around him. He wants to tell them to listen to their elders. He recalls listening to a young boy speaking to an older person disrespectfully and thinking some day that young person would also be old and know better,
“History will repeat itself,” said Howard. Experience has taught him this.
He has not forgotten the paths he has taken over the years, and the lessons he has learned along the way.