[Hpn] Lost Brother "At Home" Vending Newspapers On Boston Streets FWD

Tom Boland wgcp@earthlink.net
Tue, 12 Dec 2000 08:50:49 -0800 (PST)


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Have you ever felt more "at home" on the streets than with your family?

http://www.newsday.com/ap/text/topnews/ap858.htm
FWD  AP Top News - 11 December 2000 4:07 PM EST

     LOST BROTHER AT HOME ON THE STREETS

     by HEIDI B. PERLMAN
     Associated Press Writer

BOSTON (AP) -- Last year at this time, Scott Goodwin lived on the
street and sold newspapers for enough cash to buy his fill of
scratch tickets and beer. It had been 12 years since he had seen
any of his siblings. They all believed he was dead.

   Then Goodwin's brother found him -- in his morning newspaper. An
Associated Press photograph taken during the city's homeless count
featured Goodwin, and led to a tearful reunion and the beginning of
a second chance for him.

   Today, Goodwin is back selling papers in downtown Boston -- not
because he has to, but because he wants to.

   ''I'm still just me,'' said a red-cheeked Goodwin, 50, who still
bundles up in layers of clothes each day to sell papers. ''But I'm
not alone anymore. Now my family is only a phone call away.''

   After Brian Goodwin found him, Scott spent four months living in
Hudson, Fla., with their other brother, Dana. There Scott found a
job washing dishes in a restaurant, but he soon became bored by the
''old folks'' in Florida. He insisted on coming back to his friends
and his newspapers.

   ''This is what I know,'' he said Monday. ''I may not make a lot,
but I enjoy what I do.''

   Brian Goodwin helped Scott find his current home -- a single room
he rents from an elderly woman in Newton for $100 a week.

   He gets up each morning at 3:30 a.m. to walk the three miles to
the nearest subway station so he can be downtown by 5:30 a.m. to
sell papers to morning commuters. At 11:30 a.m. he moves to a
second spot in the Downtown Crossing shopping district to sell
papers to people on their lunch break. Finally, he tears down his
display at day's end and by 8 p.m., he is home for dinner.

   ''What I do helps pay the rent,'' he said. ''Then I can get
home, turn on the TV, whip out the can opener and I'm happy.''

   While outwardly much of his life remains the same, he says he
has made changes since his reunion with his siblings. He now has a
place to live and said he seldom drinks. He also spends holidays
and some weekends with his family.

   When he was found last December, he had been homeless for about
nine months, after losing his apartment because of financial
problems.

   ''It was a relief to know he was alive,'' Brian said. ''We just
didn't know what else to think.''

   These days Scott earns 11 to 14 cents for every paper he sells,
averaging about $300 a week working at least six days.

   That pays his rent, food and other expenses, but it does not
leave much for him to save for the future, said Brian Goodwin, who
had urged his brother to go back to school or look at other lines
of work in Florida.

   ''For half the effort and half the hours he could easily make
twice the pay,'' said Brian, who runs a construction business in
Massachusetts. ''But I take my hat off to him. It's tough what he's
doing. He shows up and stands out there every day. I sure couldn't
do that.''

   Scott works his downtown stand with his longtime friend Wayne
Goff, a thin Army veteran with thick glasses, graying stubble and a
constant supply of cigarettes.

   ''We're the kings!'' Scott said as he meticulously organized his
stacks of papers, holding them down with rubber bands and heavy
stones. ''We may not be much to look at, but we're the best at
selling papers.''

AP-NY-12-11-00 1607EST

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