My name is Michael, but call me Mike, it’s easier for the both of us if you do. You’ll see me come into Earthlinks a few times a week. My daily routine goes as follows: I wake up at 4:00 am and get my day going by listening to my international radio stations, especially the BBC. After I make breakfast, and take my insulin. I make my way to the bus station at about 6:00 am. I’ll be at Earthlinks before 8:00 am.
It’s this very morning routine that feels unreal to me. A few years ago, I was at a point where I didn’t know if I would ever see myself in housing again. It was 2012 when I lost the love of my life and our unborn child, and was laid off. As one thing led to another, I found myself on the streets. In 2013, I had been referred to check out Earthlinks. I can remember my first day starting work here; I wasn’t even nervous one bit. I felt I was a part of something big, a community. With help and support from Earthlinks, I achieved my goal in 2015: I got into housing. I have a roof over my head, and a place to make my own breakfast every morning.
Feeling like I can raise my head up high, I walk around with a portfolio of my artwork like it’s glued to my back. After a long career of being a cartoonist for Hanna Barbera Studios, I look to sketch my ideas down on paper at any chance, even at Earthlinks. If you ever swing by Earthlinks, I’ll talk your ear off about Dr. Who, classic cinema, The Beatles, British progressive rock, and ethnic international music, world history, classic animation & comic strips, Red Dwarf, Star Trek, international travel, and the Chicago Cubs. I was born and raised in Chicago, so you better believe I’m in gob smack overload for their World Series win!
What inspires me? Everything does, especially the endless memories that you make within a community. At Earthlinks, you can be sure that everyone is in your corner, and you’re in theirs. I’ll wake up tomorrow morning, knowing that I’ll forever be grateful for Earthlinks giving me the opportunity to do so.