Moses Smith

20150219_Moses Smith 02
Moses Smith, Manna House guest and Memphian

Who I am…

My name is Moses Smith. I’m from Memphis, Tennessee, born and raised. I grew up in poverty. I graduated from Kingsbury in 1998. Graduated from Southwest Tennessee Community College in 2000. My occupation was Drafting Tech and CAD Operator for five years.

I became homeless when…

I had a calling, so I quit my job, really due to stress, and I prayed and I fasted and basically God led me to be homeless. Different forms of suffering, growing spiritually and seeking the Lord and learning how to live.

I go to Room in the Inn sometimes and stay. Sometimes I’m out in the cold, maybe one out of three nights. And then in the summer time I really just sweat it out. I stay hydrated.

What led me to Manna House…

I came into Manna House about four years back. [Dr. Pete Gathje’s] an advocate for the homeless. You have a problem, don’t have nobody else to go to, we go to him.

Healthcare struggles for people who are homeless…

Out here, everything.

How I stay healthy…

Fasting. Pretty much go to God and God heals me. And I try not to eat too much junk food. But I’ve been blessed to stay healthy, though.

I would like to go to the dentist, you know, braces. I didn’t get that growing up because braces cost a lot of money and there’s very few options growing up in poverty.

How faith plays a role in my life…

God has led me to places I have never seen. He’s taught me how to live. He opened up my life to me. I’ve read the Bible in the cold. Taught me how to bring Him out here on the streets. Since I’ve been out here, my faith has gone way up.

I’m getting there with eating. I’m still working on it. The way we eat is connected to our spirituality, our faith walk with God.

My diet on the streets…

I’m thankful for what I can get out here. When you’re out homeless, you don’t have too much of a diet. It’s basically, really, learning to be thankful. Some days maybe I eat, like, a sandwich and a bag of chips.

A typical week for me…

Typical week is in and out of Manna House. I pray over people. Sometimes I walk back and forth from Midtown to Downtown. That’s how I lost a lot of weight out here, walking. When you’re homeless, you’re gonna to lose weight. All the walking. Brought my high blood pressure down and brought my cardio up.

I define healthcare as…

The upkeep of the body, the physical body, and taking care of yourself, looking after your health and looking after your physical well-being.

One of Memphis’ greatest healthcare challenge is…

Poverty. Poverty is at the top of the list. There’s not enough opportunity. Kids who need braces, they don’t have the opportunity to get braces.

The biggest challenge in my healthcare is…

Back in the day, I used to have high blood pressure. I started eating right and my high blood pressure fell down. Basically I looked at the food wheel. The USDA food chain.

The Affordable Care Act…

I believe it’s going to be better for the country years later.

What I’ve learned living on the streets…

Overall, I’ve learned to be thankful. I’ve learned to be patient. I’m not as stressed out as I used to be. And keep on praying and keep God close to you. We need some Word of God out here. If it hadn’t been for the Word of God, I wouldn’t have seen Manna House.

My hopes for the future…

Hoping to get off the street. You know, I don’t want to be out here. I’m only out here for the time God allows me to be here.

Learn more about the Manna House.


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