An update from Denver VOICE vendor Brian Dibley.
By Sarah Harvey
Brian Dibley sold the Denver VOICE for eight years before he finally reunited with his family and moved back east last November. He’s currently living in Lockport, New York, with his younger brother, Pat. The two brothers are restoring a Victorian home that Pat recently bought. It’s quite a change from the life Brian led in Denver, but he enjoys the slower pace of Lockport, a quiet town of about 20,000 people.
“I know the winter’s going to be rough,” said Brian, referring to the cold winters of Upstate New York, “but it beats sleeping on the streets.” While in Denver, Brian never cared for emergencies shelters. When he wasn’t able to stay with a friend, he found places to sleep in quiet corners of Denver’s Capitol Hill neighborhood.
In Colorado, Brian struggled with alcoholism and homelessness. He credits the VOICE with helping him survive by providing him with a support system. People he met through the VOICE encouraged him to apply for the benefits he was entitled to as an Air Force veteran.
The VOICE also gave Brian the opportunity to express himself through writing; he published many poems during his years as a vendor. In February, one of Brian’s poems was featured during a reading at Lighthouse Writers Workshop. After the event, some of the poetry was printed on street signs that are now displayed outside Lighthouse. Brian’s poem “Hands” (reprinted on page 18) was one of the poems selected for that art installation.
Brian misses Colorado sometimes, but says it feels really good to be with his family. “I’m meeting a couple nieces and nephews I’ve never met before,” said Brian. “I’m a great-uncle, like, 15 times now.”
Brian wishes everyone back at the Denver VOICE “happy sales” and encourages current vendors to keep writing. ■