Joe's Story

In March 2010, Gio Andollo joined the worship team of Trinity Grace Church, NYC. He began attending team meetings on Tuesday mornings at the office on 33rd street and 5th Ave, Manhattan. Each of those mornings, he would see a man bundled up against a wall on 32nd street with a shopping cart never more than a few feet away.

After one of those meetings, Gio found himself walking back to the nearest train station, djembe in hand, eyes fixed ahead. With so many homeless people in NYC, it becomes easy to avert one's eyes.

"Do you play the drums?"

The moment he heard Joe's innocent question, he knew that this relationship was destined to blossom over the coming weeks. Perhaps months, years? You see, Gio just has a thing for homeless people.

He sat with Joe for a long while, discussing music, family, the cold. They had a great conversation, sitting in the spring sunlight and crisp breeze; but there was still much to learn about Joe. What was his story? Why was he homeless? Where was his family?

And ultimately, once Gio discovered the answers to these questions, what would he do with them? Gio knew that sooner or later he would write poetry or music about Joe. But was there more that he could do?


This blog is a collection of memoirs, written about and dedicated to the homeless. The writers are all people who have held near and dear in their hearts, at the forefront of their social consciousness, the plight of the poor in their midst. They have taken the time to ask the names, learn the stories, walk in fellowship, serve a meal, be taught and humbled - and ultimately to give back by being themselves a voice for the voiceless, to tell the stories of those to whom precious few would listen.