Homeless voters inspired by Obama - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Homeless voters inspired by Obama

Edgar Auld Edgar Auld

By Zahid Arab - bio | email

KAKAAKO (KHNL) - President-elect Obama's victory was fueled by young and first time voters.

In Honolulu, that included a group of the area's homeless who say it was their belief in the democrat that got them involved.

A national survey shows that 3 in 5 voters in the 2008 General Election called the economy their top concern.

But for homeless at The Next Step Shelter, Obama's election means revived hope for a fresh start.

Jobless and without a home, times are tough for Edgar Auld. The 37-year-old was laid off from a stoning company seven months ago. Uninformed and uninterested, the father of six says never in his whole life did he feel the need to vote. That is, until he came across President-elect Barack Obama.

"Knowing that I helped make him the President, that's a big thing for me," said Shelter Resident Edgar Auld.

This past July, Auld was part of a group of about 40 residents at The Next Step Shelter who were registered to vote. Vito Talo was one of those people. he says often silenced, it was important for the voices of the homeless to be heard.

"Who I pick, who I want to pick makes a difference," said Shelter Resident Vito Talo.

Falling short in the island's tough economy, Auld sees Obama as his strength to succeed.

"It inspires me to have hope that you can never give up, just keep trying and trying and eventually something has to turn over. You're going to hit rocks and hit rocks but eventually one of them is going to roll over and you'll be able to get past it," said Auld.

Armed with newfound courage and conviction, it's a revived spirit of patriotism that Auld says will last a lifetime.

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