Anthony Ross has a harrowing story that’s hard not to be moved by. I was moved by it when I met him, a young man who’d been homeless since he was 13 and before that, living in poverty with his drug addicted mother. Anthony, despite his difficult upbringing and homelessness told me he had a dream. It was to get out of his cycle of homelessness and poverty and go to college. Together, with taking Anthony on as a mentee, we set out just to make that happen. The following story was captured by a staff writer for the #GoodPeopleProject
Anthony Ross is a dreamer.
Although it may be surprising to learn that, once you know where he came from. Where can one find dreams when all you know is pain, hurt and poverty? And yet Anthony had them. He had them at his darkest moments and in the direst circumstances. Dreams for a better life. For a way out of a cycle that for far too many young black boys leads to death and ruin.
Anthony grew up in Washington, D.C. where he and his older sisters were being raised by their grandmother. But while some grandparents can carry the load, Anthony’s grandmother wasn’t equipped to care for him.
“Whenever I got in trouble I’d get locked in my room for days without eating,” Anthony said. “I accumulated a lot of diseases from not eating. My grandmother didn’t have the patience.”
Her lack of patience lead to them not having much of a relationship, yet, when she died from heart disease an already rough situation became worse as Anthony and his three older sisters were sent to live with their crack addicted mother in a house with no heat, electricity or running water in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.
Even less fit than their grandmother, their severely addicted mother tried to attack her children with a meat cleaver.