'I don't consider myself homeless,' explains 39-year-old Benjamin Rollins. 'I'm merely houseless because this world is my home.'
Considering that Rollins has lived on and off the streets for the better part of a decade, he certainly doesn't have much in the way of complaints. In conversation, his fast-paced banter is nearly always gushing with optimism and philanthropy.
'My living on the streets has given me the chance to see every angle-the working class as well as the poor,' Rollins says. 'I'm here to bring about peace and love among the people.'
After traveling extensively throughout the world, including every state in the continental U.S. and several European countries, Rollins discovered his passion for writing. Many of his works, consisting of essays on social issues, anti-war rhetoric and his thoughts on religion, can still be found lurking around the Internet. 'I used to have a lot of it up on Geocities.com, but most of that is down now,' he says.
Making use of the computers at the public library, Rollins says he's becoming more Internet-savvy with his writing. 'I'm slowly making the move to MySpace,' he says. 'You can reach a lot more people that way.'
But Rollins' writing was overshadowed by a period of heavy drug use which, he says, drove him to living on the street. 'I don't use [drugs] anymore because I know what God wants me to do. Things that happen to people don't just happen-they happen for a reason. I believe that's all part of it, like God is training me. He's building me up and teaching me.'
Now spending most of his time in Hillcrest, Rollins says he enjoys interacting with people and spreading his optimistic outlook on life. 'My mission is to bring light to the world and to unite people so we can have peace amongst each other. Even though things are hard for me, I still continue to move forward and not give up.'
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