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Norwalk homeless man says, ‘I’ve never been happier’

Norwalk’s Brian Meehan shows off one of his citations for soliciting in February. Meehan wondered why he was considered a trespasser on Exit 14 as it is public land.

NORWALK, Conn. – The saga of a little group of Norwalk homeless men has taken a surprising turn.

I went looking for Brian Meehan Sunday on Connecticut Avenue. Brian used to think of Exit 14 as his place of work, as he stood on many evenings with a cardboard sign that read “homeless,” collecting donations from drivers, many of whom he said had been giving him money for years. He wasn’t around.

I wrote about Brian and his friends on Veterans Day, and expressed concerned that I had not seen nor heard from him for weeks — Brian has said he is dying of cirrhosis of the liver. He was optimistic about getting a liver transplant when I first met him but said a few months later that it was too late.

Tuesday afternoon I called him again. He answered and said, “Things are going great, I’ve never been so happy in my life. Everybody’s got something to live for. It worked out right for everybody. Life is great,”

Like I said, every time I talk to him, the story shifts.

Brian said he had gotten my last message but hadn’t called me back right away because he didn’t think he had a story for me — at least not the one I was looking for.

His friend Bobby, who was described as a “really pissed-off Marine,” is sober, he said. Crow, another friend who, like Brian, said he was dying, has an apartment.

Brian said he, too, is sober. He has been staying with a friend and his friend’s mother, helping out with odd jobs (Brian liked to say that he earned his keep at Exit 14 by cleaning up litter).

Brian said his brother is going to a disability hearing on his behalf Friday. His brother will accept the money on his behalf, as a guardian. He has picked out a one-room apartment and even has a girlfriend. She is 58, and she likes to play cards.

“I lost a lot of material things, but that doesn’t matter, that’s just material,” Brian said, of his alcoholism. “I gained more in the heart, meeting this lady and stuff. I need that more than anything material you can buy. You can give me a BMW and I’d rather have her. If I had a choice between her and a BMW, I’d take her.”

He thinks he might buy a television to put in his one room. He is also thinking of inviting another homeless man to stay with him two nights a week.

“I’m getting sicker and stuff so it’s good that the disability is coming through. If I get five more years, I met this nice girl, I’ll take it. I’d be grateful for that. That would be the best way to go out.”

Brian said many, many people came together to help him and his friends. He promises to give me details next Monday.

Stay tuned.

 

 

Comments

One response to “Norwalk homeless man says, ‘I’ve never been happier’”

  1. diane c2

    Nancy,
    Homeless, hungry, lonely, lost, forgotten – all can get a hot lunch and companionship and prayer if they desire every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at The Bridge Cafe, 20 North Main St (lower level). A project of The Bridge Church in Norwalk, and supported by the good folks and chefs of The Bridgeport Rescue Mission, this gathering place for all those in need provides a warm place to sit a bit with fellowship, a good meal, a gently used clothing pantry and friendly caring volunteers.
    Please pass along the word as you make your travels about Norwalk….
    In fact, every time I hear of a free meal or event in town, I will pass on to you and perhaps you can spread the word….

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