Project Main Details
2011-08-03 19:10:36 GMT 2011-08-04 15:49:07 (GMT -08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada) Yes (click here to learn more about ) Closed - Note: This project was manually closed by the voice seeker before it reached its original deadline. 0 0 0 direct invitation(s) have been sent by the voice seeker resulting in 0 audition(s) and/or proposal(s) so far. Voice123 SmartCast is seeking 100 auditions and/or proposals for this project (approx.) Invitations sent by SmartCast have resulted in 0 audition(s) and/or proposal(s) so far.
• Audio files must be delivered via FTP/Dropbox/Google Drive/cloud
Paul and Debbie’s 22-year-old son Ryan dropped out of college his junior
year. He left the dorm and moved straight to the streets. The couple
couldn’t figure out what brought about this devastating change in their boy.
Guilt? Depression? Drugs? Heartbroken, they tried to maintain contact, but
soon learned that staying in touch with a transient is a futile pursuit.
One October day, after receiving a tip from a family friend who chanced upon
Ryan while in a certain metropolitan area on business, Paul took off from
work and drove four hours to that city to try and locate his son. He started
at skid row—a place he had always known was there but had never really known
too much about. He had been afraid of what he heard went on in such a tough
part of town, and he had never really had a reason to be there.
But this day was different.
Paul took a deep breath and then his first apprehensive steps in the
direction of the local humanity. Half a block later he came to a bus stop
bench. There, flat on his back, was a young man under a fanned-out Sunday
paper. Paul peeled back the newsprint and looked into his eyes. Not Ryan.
Across the street was a body in a doorway, partially walled in by plastic
bags filled with worthless odds and ends. He roused and rolled the startled
man over and studied the bearded face. Not Ryan either. On the corner on a
steam vent stood two men talking, both enveloped by faint plume of warm fog.
Paul circled them looking for a familiar feature. Neither was Ryan. In the
adjacent alley was a makeshift cardboard tent with two feet sticking out.
Getting down on his knees, Paul peered in and called his son’s name. The man
sat up. Still no Ryan.
He spent the next two and a half hours looking at homeless men, as opposed
to looking over them. When he called Debbie to report in, he didn’t have the
news she wanted to hear. But he told her something that affected both of
them deeply: “Today I saw dozens of men—men who, in the past, were just
bodies that blended into the urban landscape. But it’s like the landscape
came alive today and these people suddenly became real. I didn’t find our
son…but I found a lot of other people’s sons. While we’re waiting for Ryan
to come back to us, I think we need to do something to help these guys who
are out here.”
An epiphany like Paul’s generally comes after a poignant experience. But
when the emotion dissipates, what’s left is the daunting task of actually
caring for desperate and destitute people. And it can seem overwhelming.
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