Showing posts with label denial. Show all posts
Showing posts with label denial. Show all posts

Monday, June 2, 2014

Where The Ragged People Go

Funny, since I left the tent shelter I have stayed three nights in a row in a cheap hotel.  Talk about procrastination.  Well, I have very little money for this month and so I won't be able to chicken out tonight.  Once I leave this McDonalds I will be heading down to where the ragged people go, for a piece of concrete to sleep on.

Today was another day, also, of spending my day in McDonalds and in cafe's for the wifi and the occasional sandwich.

Starbucks opens at 4:30 in the morning so I'll have that to start the day tomorrow.  I'm sure I won't get much sleep, if any.  Then I'll head on to the Y for a shower to complete the wake up process.  Afterwards I'll need to get a sleeping bag and something to use as a pillow.   I hate having to carry around such stuff, but I think it will be necessary for me, if I am to get any sleep on the streets.  Yep, it's time for making trade-offs - giving up things I like for things I need.  I just hope that whatever I get compacts nicely so that that stuff I'm hauling around doesn't look excessive.   I hate to look like I'm homeless.  I'm still not accepting it as my fate.

You know how it is when you move into a new apartment, but you're not really happy with it, would rather be else where, and so you never unpack your stuff.  That's because you know that unpacking means that you are giving in, accepting the place as yours, and you just don't want to do that. When you do, it's reluctantly. I know what I need, so  to be homeless, but I'm still putting it off.  Maybe I'll win the lottery this week.  Maybe someone will take me in cause they've got a spare room, or a big back yard where they'd let me pitch a tent, or even just a patio where I could bed down during the night.  ... if only.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Getting the Homeless Story Right

Getting the homeless story right is nearly impossible. I wish it weren't so, but then we'd probably have ended most of homelessness by now. You cannot count on most homeless people to tell you of the realities of homelessness, cause most of them have not figured it out. Many of the homeless are dolts. Many more of them are too busy telling homed people what they want to hear, half because most homed people don't want to know the truth of homelessness, and the other half because many homeless people are just as unwilling to deal with their homelessness and so talk around the subject instead. And a there are some homeless people will only engage the homed population unless they can get something out of them.

Then there are the homeless advocates. The problem is that anyone can claim themselves to be a homeless advocated, and most advocates are not to bright on any subject, let alone homelessness. But in declaring themselves advocates, or even better, when they take on some type of employment at a shelter, these advocates quickly find themselves to be the big fish in very small ponds. They are doing work that most other people would never do. And that is because most people think that dealing with homeless people must be very messy, as well as extremely difficult. So they give a great deal of credit, too much in most cases, to the self declared homeless advocate. Instead of the average citizen taking the time to figure out the homeless industry for him/her self, they would rather just take the word of the person declaring himself an expert. And, as the old saying goes, "those of you who think you know everything, are annoying to those of us who do." In that I call myself a homeless advocate, some might see that my words tell on myself. I guess they only way to get past that is to encourage people to see homelessness for themselves, and then compare that to the advocate and his/her words. But, even that is dangerous. Because, the advocate may be telling the homed community what the homeless community wants to hear, instead of what is real.

In the mix of people not really wanting to know the realities of homelessness, and the self declared advocates not really knowing the realities of homelessness. And perhaps the advocates not really telling the truth, even if they knew it, the actual voice of truth concerning homelessness is rarely heard.

On top of all this, you have the very real issue of homeless industry workers and homeless advocates being territorial. As they find themselves the big fish in the small pond, and getting credit for doing work that people see needs to be done, but no one else is willing to do - big titles are give to homeless industry workers - big clout too. And few are willing to challenge them. Like in the previous post, where a person takes it upon himself to learn about homelessness and take action, when he seeks out information and guidance from someone already in the homeless industry, the industry person tries to do everything she can to stop him.

If every homed person became seriously interested and motivated to help out with the issue of homelessness, then most homeless industry workers would be put out of work. There are approximately 400 homed people to every 1 homeless person in the United States. From this perspective, homelessness seems relatively small and manageable - especially if most homed people were helping to work towards solutions to homelessness. I myself have heard rescue mission chaplains lament the idea that if homelessness were eradicated, that they would have no one covert to their religion.

If you find yourself curious about homelessness - and perhaps interested in working with homeless people, then just do it. And don't let anyone discourage you. Get involved as much as you can - listen to every voice, and decide for yourself were the truth is in the many stories you will hear. And keep as your goal, the end of homelessness.