Thursday, May 21, 2015

I Will Try Something Else

I appreciate those people who reached out, offering support and encouragement to keep blogging.  Still, it was only a handful of people who voiced an opinion, out of the hundreds who come this blog everyday. Makes me think that most people don't really care one way or another.

So, instead of writing daily, or near daily, blog posts, I'll "try" and focus on writing full length articles that I'll submit for publication with other websites, or to sell on Kindle and the like.   Being that these articles will require more effort, they'll probably come out only weekly.  I'll let you know when and where they can be found.

Until then, your continued support and contributions are needed and very much  appreciated.

thank you,

Saturday, May 9, 2015

I'm Done

I was robbed last night.  He took the last of my cash, At least I got to keep my wallet this time.  It was only 60 bucks, but it was the last of my food money for the month.  I have 45 dollars coming from paypal donations that should arrive on Tuesday.  Other than that, I have no more money for the rest of the month.

Being that I sleep outside, I know I'm more vulnerable to such things.  Still, it reminds me that San Diego is really no different that other cities that have a more notorious reputation.  It's only that San Diego is more scenic and has a milder climate.

I'm exhausted.

I don't have the energy to go on with this.

the last of what I've had in life has fallen apart.

I'm done.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Well It Is May

After a near record month for page views of this blog, its readership is now tumbling.  The biggest chunk of my readers are students working on school projects.  Either they are writing something about  homelessness for their English class, for their sociology class, or even their computer technology class.   Most of  them are in high school, some in junior high, and even some in higher education.  Yes, there are even mentions of this blog in research journals and academic papers.  This blog has helped some people get their doctorates and Phds.  Not bad, I guess.

But now, most all the studying is done, and the papers are being written and turned in.  The school year is ending soon.  There goes about 1/3 of my readers until school starts up again in the fall.  It's always kind of a let down.   Probably wont be receiving the occasional/random donation until then either.  It's a dry blog in the summers.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Laziness, The Path Of Least Resistance, And Homeless People

Oh, I could write forever on this subject, but I will resist that temptation.  You may say that I am taking the path of least resistance for not writing this all the way out, but I know you would take the path of least resistance and not read the whole thing.  Does that make us both "lazy"? Not in the least.  There exists an infinite number of things a person could occupy him/her self with, and choosing one thing over another, or allocating only a certain amount of time on any particular project is an indication of judiciousness.

Actually, laziness, and the path of least resistance, are two different things.  Let's also be clear and admit that both are insulting terms given to people whom are deemed to be inferior.  And that's where homeless people come into the discussion, because, let's face it, nearly everyone assumes that homeless people are inferior to themselves.  That and we hold ot a common notion that people become homeless for the fact they are inferior. In this thought we then justify speaking about the homeless in negative terms.  Despite all the advancements of our society, in that we now acknowledge that speaking ill of someone is wrong - it's wrong to put down people who are black, or are women, or developmentally hindered - we still accept as normal,  the derisive talk about homeless people.

Those who have been homeless know something that everyone else doesn't.  A person cannot survive homelessness by being lazy.  Homelessness is just too demanding an existence, having to always be in search of food and a place to sleep for the night, and constantly defending one's self from the weather, street predators and those looking to cause trouble, etc.  Taking a simple job like pushing a broom all day and living in a cheap apartment is certainly a path of least resistance, comparatively.

Still, laziness, and the path of least resistance, are highly subjective terms - so much so that they can easily be rendered meaningless, when attempting to give them measure.   My father worked a 40 hour a week job, and for his efforts, he provided for a family of four.  Compared to someone who works 50 or 60 hours a week would my father be considered lazy?  just because he did put in less hours at work?  When he got home each night he would either go play basket ball at the local gym, or would just plop down in front of the tv and veg out until bed time.  Did that mean he was on a path of least resistance?

Lets be clear on some other things.  "Laziness" is not what people usually assume.  The lack of desire to work doesn't come from flaw in a person's character, but is a symptom of poor mental health - Depression mainly.  And just who can become homeless and not become depressed from it?  Cure a person from depression, and their "laziness" will go away.  That's because a normally healthy person is an active productive person.  People lose their inclination for being productive and active only because of mental health issues.

Not only must homeless people remain active in their pursuit of food and shelter etc., they also know that they cannot remain homeless forever, and so additionally they take up regular employment.   According to the National Coalition of the Homeless, 50% of all homeless people work a minimum of 20 hours a week at a regular job, (not under the table or temporary work).  Still there are a lot of homeless people who take "pick up" work.  Many of the people hanging out at the Home Depot exit hoping to get hired for a day's work, are homeless.

But then someone might say, "I see homeless people laying around, doing nothing all the time."  Sure, they do, but that's what everyone does when they're tired: they sleep in a couple of hours when they can get it, they take a nap when it's convenient, they plop down in front of the tv for hours at a time, especially on their days off.  Except for not having a tv to watch, the homeless do the same things that other people do, when they are tired, the important difference being that, because they don't have a home in which to do this resting, they have to do it out in public, where everyone can see, and judge them for it.

This post was inspired in part by these blog posts:

Monday, May 4, 2015

Is Housing A Right?

When considering Housing as a Right we run into problems.  In the United States we hold two systems of valuation in mostly equal regard, but they are not compatible.  Conflict between the two creates problems, confuses people, and causes tension and disharmony among people within our social system.

The first system of valuation concerns "rights", human rights generally and citizen's rights in particular.   As defined within the founding documents of our country, all people are of equal value and are entitled to certain rights.  There are legal rights which people are given by law, and there are natural rights which are bestowed upon all people for the very fact that they are human, and the entitlement of these rights cannot be taken away or curtailed by the laws of men.  There is a certain value given to all people for the mere fact that they are human, and that human value entitles them to certain rights, including, but not limited to, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

But we have another value system that is informed by our use of capitalism and the free market system.  With capitalism, as the saying goes, a thing is worth whatever a person is willing to pay for it.  And people pay for all the things they want and need with the money they've earned through trade.  That trade, in capitalism, is usually in the form of labor for cash, but other forms of trade are also used.  In this system, the value of things is reduced to a dollar amount.  To acquire something, a person must do work in exchange for money, and then exchange that money for the item desired.  The amount of work done for money, and the price set on the item desired are negotiable, but cannot be negated.  This makes the value of things in the capitalist system very subjective.

When it comes to achieving "rights", usually all that is required is the passage and enforcement of laws.  That's how civil rights are eventually achieved..  Civil rights are natural rights, but at one time our country lacked the political will to make those rights a reality for all citizens. It wasn't until after a great deal of "persuasion"by disgruntled citizens that politicians acquiesced to the demand for these rights.

BUT when attempting to make housing rights a reality, we run into problems because houses are material goods with a monetary value attached, and we cannot help but get entangled in the capitalist system when deciding how to make the right to housing a reality.  I personally do believe that housing is a right, but sorting out the requirements of the capitalist system so to make housing available for those who need it creates all sorts of difficulties.

Although the ownership of guns is an american right, a person is still required to pay money for them.  Given that the price of guns is fairly reasonable, pretty much any qualified american can obtain a gun through the free market system.  But because homes are much more expensive, sometimes costing more that people are able to afford, guaranteeing the right to housing isn't always possible.

Our country has created huge bureaucracies in attempting to meet the demands of both value systems, when trying to fulfill the right to housing.  But I think we can come up with a better solution if we rephrase the question.  Lets try it this way:

  Do people have a right to earn a home?

I think nearly everyone would say yes to this question.  And phrased with way, the onus is placed not on the individual to secure his housing regardless of the demands of the free market, but instead the onus is placed on the free market to self regulate, and to maintain an economy that excludes no one who is willing and able to work, This would require, among other things, that the price of things, especially housing, be make less subjective to the whims of the free market.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

About The Bicycle

On news of my bicycle being stolen, several of you offered to help in one way or another in replacing it.  I very much appreciate everyone's offers and concern.  But, I am going to put off getting a new bike for a while.  It sickens me that money spent on my behalf is wasted in this manner, and I really don't want that to happen again.

In other news, last month was surprisingly good for the blog.  Page views were 4th highest in 8 years.  Knowing that so many people have read what I've written is encouraging.

 This graph shows the number of page views of my blog since Blogger created there latest blogger support some 5 years ago. Sure seems like they could have made more updates since then. :(

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Not A Good Day

Someone stole my bike.  I locked it up at a regular bike rack out side of my usual cafe. Buti it was gone shortly after. I think it got too much attention for its bright paint job.  When people commented on the bike they were usually assuming  it was a better quality bike than it was.

I want to say bad words to whomever took it. But even more I want to apologize to the very kind person who bought it for me. This makes me sick 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Ideology and Ending Homelessness

Ideology is that set of ideas and ideals that people use to justify their actions.

Religion  and philosophy are a part of people's ideology, but ideology is more than just those.  No person perfectly adheres to their religion or life philosophy, so we have to include other ideas as well.  But, because all people are different, our individual ideologies are somewhat different from each other's.  Certainly conservative and liberal christians have different ideas about things and so they will do things differently, although they are both Christian, for example.

Trying to figure out solutions to homelessness, and finding the subject to be more complicated that people can understand, these people will resort to invoking their personal ideologies, as a way to make sense of homelessness and and as a means to possible solutions. 

Oddly enough, among the people who work with the homeless, it isn't enough to find solutions to homelessness...whatever solutions are developed must meet the certain standards set forth in people's ideologies.

To most people, it is not enough just to end homelessness, it must be ended in a certain way, a way that validates their ideologies.  If a person lives by the ideology that a man must earn whatever he gets in life, then just handing over the keys to an apartment, to a homeless person, will not set well with him.  He will declare that such a solution will not work, or will cause other problems, regardless of the evidence to the contrary.  The most common objection I've heard concerning Housing First is, "but the homeless don't deserve it."  Of course, in reality, nothing could be further from the truth, and doesn't really understand what "deserve" means.  Usually the subjective matter of deserving things goes right over this person's head.  Still, they will object to the use of the particular solution to homelessness, and will prevent it from being implemented.   This despite the fact that people receive, get, achieve, all manner of things without actually earning it.

Apr 27, 2015

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Timothy Fix

The following is a conversation I had recently with a member of Timothy's family:

Can i share a missing person poster with u and see if youve seen him around there?

The Homeless Guy

go ahead.

The Homeless Guy

I did see that poster a day or so, ago. thanks. I don't recall having seen this person.

Would you mind keeping an eye out. He is said to be in the old town/imperial beach area

The Homeless Guy


Thank you so much.

And god bless you

He is my brother and weve been looking for him for 15 months

The Homeless Guy

Best bet is to contact the police in those areas. I rarely go to Old Town and have never been to Imperial Beach. But I'll still keep an eye out.
The Homeless Guy

Still, are you sure he wants to be found? Does he have the ability to contact you?

He is schizophrenic and been off his meds.. Whether he wants to be found or not he isnt safe. And according to some ppl who have seen him he only says half of phone numbers. So it appears he isnt 100% there. He also isnt sure of his name so they call him john. My parents were there last week but no luck.

And even if thats what he wants we just want to make sure he is ok

Maybe offer him a phone

The Homeless Guy

Mind if I write about this on my blog? will keep names private, but would like to quote what you just wrote. It really bothers me how the laws have been interpreted regarding the mentally ill. That cops and the courts cannot intervine unless a person has proven him/herself to be a danger to themselves or the public, and that has been defined only as being suicidal.

The Homeless Guy

So, for this, they allow the mentally ill to wander the streets, lost in their own minds, and unable to connect with reality.

Please do write about it. My family is sickened on how all of this has been handled. We are on our own looking for a needle in a haystack.

Yes that is pretty much the jist of it.

And you can use names. It may help socially make it aware

On february 18th last year his payee in warren ohio sent him to the hospital in a taxi cab cuz he was suicidal. Havent seen or heard from him since. He never checked into the hospital.