Homeless veteran hopes faith can pull him through holidays and b - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Homeless veteran hopes faith can pull him through holidays and beyond

Chuck Holton spends Christmas day in a public rest stop off Interstate 10. His SUV is his home. (Photo source: WLOX News) Chuck Holton spends Christmas day in a public rest stop off Interstate 10. His SUV is his home. (Photo source: WLOX News)
JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -

A public rest stop is Chuck Holton’s neighborhood on Christmas day, his SUV is his home and there's no celebration. There never is.

The 51-year-old former Navy firefighter and Marine has lived this way for 20 years.

“When I got out in 1995, I can tell you I never thought I’d be where I am now,” Holton said. “Never thought I’d get down into this deep slump.”

Holton moves according to the season, and he’s been all over the country. Most of the time, he is rousted from his sleep as he bunks. He has a veterans disability pension that allows him to buy meager supplies.

So far, Holton has found friends - including police officers and security guards - who allow him to shift around the Mississippi Interstate rest areas along I-10.

“They just tell me, ‘Rest, try to rest. Don’t worry. You’ll be OK here,'" said Holton

The former serviceman knows he has it better than most of the homeless.

“I’ve met and been around a lot of them and I feel for them,” Holton said. “I mean, talk about empathy. I at least have a vehicle. These other guys got nothing.”

But even then, Holton is alone, estranged from his family and support group.

“It hurts,” Holton. “I feel like a nothing. Yeah, I feel  like a nothing.”

But despite all of the obstacles, Holton is hoping that his faith and the spirit of this day will make his future a little brighter.

“I am a Christian man,” Holton said. “I don’t know if people want to hear that. But I believe in God and God still takes care of me.....My only hope is Christ. I mean, that’s all I got. That’s gotten better. I mean. To know you’ve got somebody that cares for you.”

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