There was so much noise on Chicago's Michigan Avenue Bridge that I didn't notice Reggie was asleep. I felt bad. I should have remembered when I was homeless. Sleep came when I felt safe, or when I was so exhausted I collapsed. Rarely did sleep happen at night. Rarely did I rest when I was alone and vulnerable.
The night before I met him, Reggie slept on a friend's couch. More and more people, including families, are couch surfing as an alternative to being on the streets. They're invisible when it comes to homeless counts -- just like the growing number of people in weekly-rate hotels our government does not count as homeless. Reggie is lucky his friend is only charging $5 a night. As the economy gets worse I'm hearing more stories of people taking advantage of even their own relatives.