Thursday, May 8, 2014

Homeless Advocate Confession


I confess, as homeless advocates go, I suck.

Sure, I have this blog where I write about homelessness, sort of - some times.  But I haven't done much that could really be considered "advocacy".  I admit that most of my defense of homeless people has just been a defense for myself.  And the attention that my blog has gotten, especially in the first years, was more about the curiosity of a homeless person with a webpage than about any actual content I put on it.

It was a trip, though, how people first responded to my blog.  Many just couldn't bring themselves to believe that a homeless person could create a blog.  12 years later, some people still think this blog is a hoax.  Or maybe that just wish it was a hoax.   I don't know.   Still, all that attention in the first years, I did nothing to earn it, except to be me.

Sometimes I have tried to educate people about homelessness.  But of all the writing I've done in the past 12 years, only 5 posts get any real attention on the blog. And some of those posts are many years old.

So at first, my existence was all I needed, so to challenge people's ideas about homelessness.  I guess that was a good thing, except some people said that caused to them to think less of the homeless.  I can only hope they were being spiteful.

Still, many people had the wrong idea about homeless people, I saw there was much ignorance concerning homelessness and I tried to counter their wrong ideas.  Doing this, I only made more enemies.  Attacks on this blog, and attacks on me personally only grew.   Eventually I had to take drastic measures to protect myself.   Sometimes it got so bad that I gave up on the blog.  I had shut it down a couple times - the insults and negativity, and people trying to take advantage of my situation made me want to hide from it all.    It was only because I had nothing else in my life, that I stayed with the blog.

One of my main issues is that I had problems - still have problems - that I have difficulty dealing with and which are a leading cause of my homelessness.   The mental health issues of depression and anxiety - due in some part to Aspergers Syndrome, and to complications arising from abuse I lived with as a kid.   I was a messed up homeless person, but I was held up to a higher standard.  No one cut me any slack.  I was chided for not being able to achieve more although it was not within me to satisfy them.   Perhaps being satisfied was not their point. To harass and aggravate me, they constantly moved the goal posts.

And here I am, many years later and I'm still homeless, still unable to achieve what everyone else deems the standard for success.

Well, it seems all I can do is to again try and reinvent myself, refocus my purpose and attention and try to become a better advocate for homeless people.

I only as that you not dismiss the message here, even if you do condemn the messenger.