By John F. Early
Many out-of-town visitors to the West Village, as well as locals, have seen the young man who usually sits on the sidewalk in front of the CVS on Sheridan Square. Tanned from homelessness rather than, sadly, the Hamptons, John is personable and charming nevertheless. He and I have been chatting for months. In that time, I have found that he is not addicted to alcohol or using drugs. Alright, he smokes, but, well, maybe you might smoke too, if your circumstances were as stressful as his are.
Given John’s precarious homelessness situation, the truism that being nice and charming is advantageous certainly applies. I believe that John (his full name is John Raymond Elwell) is someone who would genuinely benefit some fortunate employer(s) from an upgrading of his situation. Seriously. A business and locale which would fit both his accomplishments and his presence would be ideal. (John has found his unemployment benefits office experiences unfruitful.)
So, we are hoping that someone reading this will give him a chance.
Come August, John will turn thirty years old. Born in Weymouth, MA, he lived in South Boston until he was nine. Then his family moved to Quincy, his parents divorced, and he went to Halifax.
In 2008, John graduated from Silver Lake Regional High School, a vocational high school in Kingston, Massachusetts, where he became CTE (career and technical education) certified in auto body and metal fabrication welding. Also, he became OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) qualified.
As one might imagine, there has been both good and bad during John’s life. Let us get to the nitty-gritty. He had difficulty getting along with his family, and got into trouble by stealing some electronics. Convicted for grand larceny, he was incarcerated for eighteen months. While knowing that this part looks bad, John assures us that, much like Il Gattopardo (The Leopard), he too has changed his spots.
John says about himself: “I am looking for a steady job and housing. While easygoing and laid back, I am, nevertheless, hard-working, well mannered, respectful, polite, and detail-oriented. I am knowledgeable in fields like carpentry, having learned from a master carpenter. I know how to do high-end car detailing (BMW, Ferrari, Mercedes, Pagani) and auto body and small engine repair, and metal fabrication. I also have experience as a house painter, both inside and out. In addition, I can perform kitchen prep. work, and can cook—somewhat, anyway.
I am also good with labor/management duties, meaning I can teach others exactly what to do, how much time a task should take, credit card processing—that sort of thing.
I am willing to relocate, within reason. Unsurprisingly, given what I do, I guess I tend to be more introverted than extroverted. I have no desire to do anything dishonest, having learned the hard way by having been incarcerated that crime does not pay. I do think of my time in prison as beneficial to the betterment of my much-improved character today; I believe I can honestly say that. Any potential employer and housing provider can be assured that I am finished with stealing anything. I have learned that just does not work.”
As I have no other concrete knowledge of John’s habits other than seeing him from time to time on the street, and have never employed him, nor given him lodging, I cannot write knowledgeably about all aspects of John’s character. Nevertheless, as a person of commonsense observing John, most recently at the requisite six feet distance because of coronavirus, I feel that I can vouch for him. For employers and lodgers, I do believe that he would most likely be a good risk.
If you believe you can assist, talk to John Elwell when you see him. Otherwise, contact me by leaving a message mentioning this article at: (212) 691-3974, or by emailing me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. (Cell/iPhone number presently unavailable.) John Elwell will get your message. Thank you.