Showing posts with label money. Show all posts
Showing posts with label money. Show all posts

Monday, June 16, 2014

Mondays Update

Stretching it.   So, this is me when money is tight.

I have a membership at the Y for 44 dollars a month, plus another 6 dollars a month for the locker.  The locker is immensely valuable. I am able to store all my clothes and important papers in it.  That is safety!  And it means I don't have to lug another big bag around with me.  Anyway, the cost is deducted out of my bank account on the 15th of each month, usually.   So, for the past week or so I've been watching my bank account dwindle little by little, 60 dollars, then 56 dollars, then 53 dollars.  I was guessing just how much money I could use and still have enough in the account to pay the bill when the automatic draft occurred.  Then someone sent me money through paypal.  Woohoo!  So, I withdrew that money from paypal and sent it to my bank account.  That action takes 3 to 4 days according to paypal.  Well in actuality it only takes 2.

Then the weekend hit.   My thought was, I could sure use a coke at McDonalds.  If I buy one, it will put me under the 50 dollar limit I need to maintain to assure the bill gets paid when it goes to my bank account.  Ah, but I have this paypal money coming. Maybe it will come to the account at the same time as the bill and so everything will be covered - well sure, if everything goes the way I hope it will go.   The risk is that if I get the refreshing coke, then on Monday I'll suffer an overdraft fee and that coke will end up costing me 30 dollars more.


I was jonesing for the coke so I went ahead and got it, putting myself in peril.  What do I care?  I'm a homeless bum, it's not like anything is getting any worse for me.  Just par for the course.

Well, lucky me.  the paypal money came and the bill did not.  I'm safe.   Now, before you judge me for my less than pristine actions, you must understand that when a person is homeless, having something you desperately want is a tremendous relief, even if it's risky.

On another note -

Last night, I tried talking to one of the other people who sleeps in the same area - up against the wall of an old warehouse.  He locates himself just 15 feet away from me.  He is the Walmart greeter type.  He tries to have something pleasant to say to every person who walks by, whether they are homeless, not homeless, rich or poor, English speaking or not.   He was already there when I first started sleeping in the area a couple weeks ago.  I commented that he's been around a while.  He told me that he actually owns the building we are sleeping against, and that he received it as part of an inheritance, and that he was sleeping outside because he was renting out the building to some college kids who needed the help.  Of course I don't buy any of that, but who am I to argue?  That he pays attention to what's going on around the area, and lets people know it by engaging them with a short hello, makes the area much safer.

Also last night, I was awakened, as I so often am, by two people having an argument. One homeless man was yelling at another for dumping his piss bottle into a nearby planter.   "Hey man, stop doing that! We'll get in trouble for shit like that."  "It's just water" was the reply. "bullshit"! blah blah blah. The argument when on for a a couple more minutes.   Then I thought to myself, "Damn, that's what I do.  I piss in a bottle and then dump it into one of the nearly planters."  I better not do that.... when that dude is watching."


Monday, June 9, 2014

Homeless Monday Update


Ok, I've been cement surfing for a full week now.   And it's been rough.  In the UK they actually call it "sleeping rough".  They may be on to something there. It seems to be the most accurate terminology for the event.  In the U.S. when people do recreational camping, they often refer to it as
"roughing it".  Right now the closest terminology in the U.S. is "sleeping out".   The urban dictionary http://www.urbandictionary.com/ calls it "cement surfing" (because I put that definition in there).

My cold doesn't seem to be so bad this morning, thankfully.  Last night I did get some generic Sudafed to take.  I had a few left over from the last time I was sick, back when I was cement surfing before getting into the tent, but those didn't last very long.  I for that, I am now officially out of money until next month's check.  I may try my hand at panhandling.  Since people are going to be giving to panhandlers anyway, might as well get my share of it.  At least I'll put it towards things like food and  laundry.

Although things are a bit dire I'm still smiling.  Why am I happy? you might ask.  Well I'll tell you.  There are few things that give me as much satisfaction as the success of my blog.   It's the one thing that I can say I created by myself that actually became something good.  It's not so easy having a successful blog, especially these days.   Most people have their noses stuck in Facebook and they rarely venture away from it.   But why am I smiling today?  Well, the blog's readership numbers are again sky rocketing.  That, and I'm starting to get hate mail again.   I've learned over time that there are certain types of blog posts that get the most attention, and I've been writing more of those.   A month ago I was averaging only 800 page views a day, but this past week I've been averaging 1200 page views per day.  And, at the same time the amount of hate mail I get is increasing.

I no longer pay attention to the hate mail, it's all the same - has been the same drivel since the beginning of the blog.  And I'm more thick skinned. That kind of mail used to bother me, and for it I would change what I wrote.  Of course then my readership would drop.  Well, no more of that.  I'm going to continue writing in the same fashion, regardless.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Homeless Sleep Routine


I was able to get a few hours sleep last night.  Still, I need to find a way to get more rest - I must find a place where I can nap a little during the day.  Last night I returned to the same place I've been sleeping since I started this.  My exact spot from the previous night was taken by someone else, but just a few feet away was a good place to bed down.

As per usual, there was some foot traffic through the night, and some noise - people arguing and some construction on the trolley tracks - but it was far enough away to be a little consequence.  I'm able to fall asleep faster with each night.  I place my backpack up against a wall and position it so to use as a pillow.  Then I unroll my sleeping bag in alignment with the backpack. I unzip the bag about half way and slide in with my shoes on. Once in the sleeping bag I take off my shoes.  This assures that no one will walk off with my shoes while I sleep - since they are at the bottom of my sleeping bag.  I zip up the bag all the way.  I then rearrange all the items in my pockets so that I am not sleeping on them - wallet, coins, ear buds, etc  I lay on my side and begin to relax. Still there is pain in my hip where it makes contact with the concrete ground.  I lean either a little forward or a little back to alleviate it.  Sure it is more comfortable to lay on my back, but I feel less safe that way.  I then put my hat on top of my face to block the street lights from my eyes.

I am completely broke until next month's check arrives, so additional items to help me sleep will have to wait. Before I start collecting more possessions, I need to get a cart of some kind in which to lug them around.  I will also need a way to pull that cart around.  My ultimate plan is to have a bicycle with a cart attached to the back of it.  The cart must be such that I can secure the items in it with a lock.  Otherwise people will surely steal its contents.  But all this will have to wait until July. Ah but then I'll be able to travel around the city, perhaps to the park, set up the tent and grab some shut eye in the middle of the day, when it's needed.

With no money, it's going to be a long 24 days. I have gotten used to eating at fast food restaurants with the money I get from disability.  I won't be able to do that soon.  I think I have a about 30 bucks to last the rest of the month.  This will force me to seek out homeless feedings.  I need to learn about those anyway.  The experience will give me something to write about.  Still, if you'd like to help alleviate some of this burden,  please feel free to click on my donation button and send a little money. I would certainly appreciate it.

the nods are coming back.  I need to go for a walk.                                                

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

One of San Diego’s Most Successful Homeless Programs Is Out of Money

Thirty-four of the most frequent homeless users of San Diego’s emergency services cost taxpayers and hospitals $4.3 million in responses to 911 calls and other public safety needs in 2010. Take those same people, put them in a house, give them preventative medical care and access to round-the-clock case workers, and the costs drop to $2.2 million in 2013.
One of San Diego’s Most Successful Homeless Programs Is Out of Money

Monday, April 7, 2008

Some Reprieve

Recently, a couple people had donated money to my paypal - and it finally arrived today. It won't replace all that was recently lost, but I'm feeling better anyhow. thanks for all your kind words.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Poverty Does Not Cause Homelessness

I feel very strongly about this.

The only way to make significant reductions in the homeless population is by accurately defining homelessness. And accurate definitions of the causes of homelessness are rare. I believe this happens mostly because people in the homeless industry come to it with preconceived ideas, either on political, or religious, or other cultural demagoguery. Not only are these people working on homelessness unable to end it, they have the ability to cause a great deal of money and resources to be wasted chasing after shadows.

Although a person can live in poverty his/her entire life, and yet never become homeless, part of being homeless means doing without and living in poverty. And once a person leaves homelessness most likely he/she will still be in a state of poverty. But, poverty itself does not cause homelessness. Poverty is only the environment in which homelessness exists.

Any person who loses a job can get another one. A person who misses a rent payment can implore upon the graces of his landlord for leniency. A person without any money can borrow from family or friends or government or lending institutions, or can begin selling off personal property. Eviction from one's residence requires a court order, which takes 3 months or more to process. For other personal items, like food and toiletries and laundry, there are many organizations that supply these items to those in need. And one does not have to wait until they are homeless before receiving such charity. If the issue is solely an economic one, a person can stave off becoming homeless long enough to reestablish themselves financially, and thus avoid homelessness.

When it does appear that financial ruin caused a person to become homeless, a closer look will reveal that money issues were only a symptom of other problems. The person might have anti-social tendencies that prevent them from keeping a good paying job, or from making adequate bonds with people, people would normally bail out a friend during difficult times. Or they may have addiction issues that actually cause the person's financial downfall. These are the things that can, and do, lead a person to homelessness.

When a person cannot get himself rehired after losing a job, it's not because of the economy, it's because he's fallen into depression over having lost his job - and thus has developed a mental health issue. Homeless addicts and alcoholics have reached the point in their illness that they spend all the money they make on their addictions. So, it would not matter if the addict had a job making 10, 20, or 50 bucks an hour, and free rent - all their money would go towards drugs and alcohol and they would have nothing left for a place to live. And a mentally ill person is just not going to have the personal, or job skills to call on, so to get, or maintain a job.

So, yes, if you haven't already guessed, the idea that people are a paycheck or two away from homelessness is a myth.

Yes, homeless people do deserve sympathy and help overcoming their homelessness. But misleading people about the nature of homelessness is not going help anyone in the long run - regardless of how much sympathy or funding it generates.

Of course, once a person becomes homeless, the state of the economy will effect how quickly and efficiently a person will returned to a housed situation. But that is an entirely different matter.

Don't get me wrong, poverty is a terrible thing, and should be eradicated as much as possible. But even if there were no poverty, there would still be homelessness.

The reason so many people are drawn to the idea of homelessness being an issue of poverty is that the solution becomes both simple and impersonal. In other words, it's easy. How efficient, and sterile, would be the process, if all we had to do to end homelessness was to create a more equal and balanced economy. Pay people more for their labor, and not charge them as much for rent, utilities, and food. Best of all, this approach would allow us to keep our distance from actual homeless people. We would not be required to be their teachers, or mentors, or friends, or anything else to the homeless.

to be concluded...