Former homeless man to sign his book at library
Golonza Young will sign copies of his book, “An Assignment Called, Yes” at the Drs. Bruce & Lee Foundation Library on Saturday, March 5, at 1 p.m. Young is a remarkable and interesting person, said Pat Gibson-Hye, a member of the Florence School District 1 Board of Trustees. She met him at a soup kitchen while doing voter registration in 2010. He was one of the people she registered to vote.
Young told her about his struggle to find a job. He had degrees in Spanish, French and mathematics and had studied at the University of Hawaii, among other schools. He asked if he could forward her his resume. “I was quite amazed when I looked at it. It was impeccable,” she said. With growing curiosity, she drove by the address he wrote on his voter registration application, but did not see a house.
When she ran into him at the library, he asked if she received his resume and if she would pass it on to human resources, She agreed. She mentioned she had tried to find the address listed on his voter registration form. “He looked at me for a minute and said, ‘you know, don’t you? I’m homeless. I live in the woods.’” Mrs. Gibson-Hye was surprised, but not astonished knowing there are many homeless people here living in the woods.
Before giving his resume to human resources, she asked one the assistant superintendents to review it. He was impressed. She explained the situation and asked him to meet Young but to overlook his physical appearance and look at his spirit and soul. That’s what happened and a new future soon began for Mr. Young. First, he was placed at one of the schools as a substitute teacher.
The students loved him, as well as the school administration. One student told Mrs. Gibson-Hye that she’d learned more from Mr. Young than from her teacher all year. Young later received a position as study hall teacher at the same school. He is still at the school. Young wants to become a certified teacher and teach in his field of expertise. Even though he’s faring better with his living conditions, he has not been able to save enough money to take the test to be certified.
He has been down on his luck for so long and trying to catch up and pay off past student loans. “With so many challenges and hindrances, his spirit led him to write,” said Mrs. Gibson-Hye. He is now a published writer. She encourages the public to come meet this incredible gentleman and purchase a copy of his book. “It’s truly worth the reading,” she said.