In 1988-89, I was a bank teller in Richmond, VA. We had a customer named Eleanor. She was homeless. By choice.
Eleanor had a son who tried to set her up in an apartment and get medical care, but she refused any attempt he made at “helping” her. Eleanor came to my window the third of every month, when the Social Security checks arrived. Eleanor always tried to come to my window, because I set aside 3-4 lime green lollipops. Her favorite. The other tellers did not like to wait on her, complaining she smelled. She did, but there was more to Eleanor than body odor.
As the months passed, Eleanor’s eyesight began to fail. She had been robbed and beaten on more than one occasion, and came to my window with a severely bruised left side of her face.
And then Eleanor did not come to the bank anymore.
Eleanor was stubborn, made her own choices and was free to wander. I admired her in 1988, and I still do.