Monday, January 26, 2015

This Has Been A Bad Month

Everything from a bad cold, to bad depression, to bad weather has hit this month and I'll be glad to be rid of it.  Hopefully things will get better.  They don't always.   When I was in Nashville, every thing seemed to hit a low note.  I was riding on the low side of the road, as it were.  But back here in San Diego, things have been pretty good, even when things were difficult.  I could always count on a nice sun shiny day to follow anything negative to come my way.   But not this month.  And really, not this season, which is only a little older than a month.   There was good weather all last winter, almost no rain either.  But cold and rainy are more the rule now.   I hope this isn't a sign that things are going bad on a more permanent basis now.   For the past two years (almost) that I've been here, things have been pretty good, to the point that this particular month stands out in stark contrast.  That's how good it's been.  If that makes sense.  Tomorrow I'll try again to see if I qualify for VA benefits, a necessity before I can get closer to housing.  Just more hoops to jump, always more hoops to jump through.  Hopefully things will improve by friday.  Otherwise I'm going to hunker down, hibernate, and not come out until Spring.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Yep, It's A Full Blown Cold

I've got a cold.  I hate colds.  I will fight it off as best I  can.  Colds are a distraction and make people weak, and feel miserable.  My previous post had grammatical errors in it that messed up the meaning of what I was saying.   I've tried to fix some of that today.

One thing that I'm now very proud about in the war on "Colds" is that I was recently proven right about something I've been saying for years.  Science has just now caught up with me.   You know how people have been saying that cold weather doesn't give people a "cold"?  Well, in a way it actually does.  That's because when a person is feeling cold, his/her body responds by dedicating more energy to maintaining it's internal temperature.  The human body has only so much energy to distribute to all it's functions.  So, in working to keep the body temp normal, there is less energy in the body to fight off the germs and viruses that surround us.

Besides everything else you do to fight off colds, make sure you stay plenty warm enough!

On a side note, if your baby has a cold, be careful that you don't over do it with too many layers of clothing.  You can very easily overheat and thus do harm to the child.

Warmer weather is coming to San Diego... yay!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Shelter Like A Child Day Care

Although the weather in San Diego is generally mild, it has it's own version of unpleasantness during the winter months, and people can die from exposure to the weather here, as well as anywhere else.

So, a while back some people got together to create a winter shelter program.  Not many in the community were happy about having such a shelter and so it has always had limited support and resources.  I mean, all the city could come up with was a tent? You can't get much cheaper than that.

Until yesterday, everyone staying in the tent was doing a pretty good job at staying healthy, which makes sense.  The first people to get into the tent are for the most part those homeless who are doing a better job at taking care of themselves.  The guys coming into the tent now are more of the holdouts, avoiding going into the shelter at nearly all costs.  And they've been out in the weather, and rain, and fog, etc., for the last few months.  And it has all taken a toll on their health.   So, they for the past few days the shelter has been letting in guys who have colds, guys who are coughing and sneezing all over the place, all over each other.

Besides not treating themselves well, most of them have a mean streak.   Mad at the world, they don't care much for other people, don't even attempt to get along with others.  Asking them to cover their mouths when they cough will provoke a tirade from them.  And they will purposely not conform to your requests for hygiene, out of spite.

At 5am this morning, the tent sounded like an influenza ward from the 19th century. Every noise associated with the "flu" was echoing off the tent walls.  Sleeping was impossible.  And being that I didn't want to be any more exposed than I was, I left the tent soon after waking up.  Right now, I only have the sniffles, and I want to keep it that way, and not become any worse.

They didn't run the heater much last night, and today, the weather is cold and overcast.  It only warms up in the winter months around here if the sun can break through the overcast clouds.  That doesn't seem to be happening today.   I have become like my grandmother in that I am not a fan of the cold and can feel a draft moving through a house when others can't.

Today I have a meeting (hopefully) with a guy who will check to see if I qualify for housing assistance.  Last week I spend three hours waiting to see this guy, only for him to say he couldn't squeeze me in.   That's the norm, when it comes to trying to get help for housing as a homeless person.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Homeless Blog

Yeah, that's what this is, a homeless blog.  No wait, it's  a blog about homelessness, sort of.  These things we call blogs can be all sorts of things, depending on the writer.  If you've been following this blog for a while, you know that this blog is equal parts homeless advocacy, personal diary, political soapbox, and web-log.   That's one of the very freeing things about having one's own space on the internet, you can make it be any ol' thing you want it to be, and it doesn't have to conform to anyone else's standards but your own.  That rates an "Awesome" in my book.

Sure, I've spend most of my time on this blog talking about things related to homelessness, but that's cause I wanted to, and I still want to, and I will.  Nothing's really changed except that I haven't posted here in a while.  I've been more focused on trying to create a podcast version of this blog, that I've kinda ignored it.

But there are some things to write about here.  Since it's going to take a while still before the podcast is up and running full speed, I'll keep posting here too, the old fashioned way of writing.

The city of San Diego seems to be moving forward in it's quest to reduce the homeless population here. At this point all we have are press releases and news conferences about future plans, but if they actually go forward with these plans, then some good things are likely to happen. I'm no a new waiting list for housing assistance through the VA.  Keep your fingers crossed on that account.  More funding and more incentives are being created for organizations to move from trying to solve every last problem the homeless exhibit, to just housing them instead.  When you think about it, every person who has a home has personal problems, so why should being free of all personal problems be required of the homeless before getting them back into a home of their own?  First get homeless people into a decent housing situation, then they'll be in a better position to deal with their personal problems. On San Diego's housing commission website, I found this...

Housing First–San Diego, the San Diego Housing Commission’s (SDHC) three-year homelessness action plan to create additional affordable housing with supportive services, will impact the lives of as many as 1,500 homeless San Diegans.
Downtown San Diego’s former Hotel Churchill, which is part of Housing First-San Diego, was the backdrop for the joint announcement of the plan by San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, City Council President Todd Gloria and SDHC President & CEO Richard C. Gentry, which was attended by partners, working together to end homelessness. Read the news release.
Developed by SDHC and in collaboration with partners, Housing First–San Diego:  
  1. Renovates the historical Hotel Churchill to create 72 affordable studios for homeless veterans and youth aging out of the foster care system;
  2. Awards up to $30 million over the next three years to create Permanent Supportive Housing that will remain affordable for 55 years;
  3. Commits up to 1,500 federal rental housing vouchers to provide housing to homeless individuals and families;
  4. Invests up to $15 million from the federal “Moving to Work” rental assistance program to acquire a property that will set aside 20 percent of its units for Permanent Supportive Housing for homeless San Diegans; and
  5. Dedicates 25 of SDHC’s own affordable units to temporarily provide furnished apartments for homeless individuals and families. SDHC is one of the first public housing agencies in the nation to commit affordable rental housing that it owns for this purpose. Email us at: HousingFirstSanDiego@sdhc.org 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

The Podcast Is Coming

My appologies for the delay in the start of this podcast.  I am working on it, and it will begin soon.  In the mean time, there is plenty of content on my blog http://thehomelessguy.blogspot.com

Thanks so much,

Kevin


Check out this episode!

Where Did I Go?

 Sorry 'bout that.  I haven't posted anything new in a while.  I've been crazy busy with trying to get the podcast up and running, besides all the other issues I've been having.  I came down with a good case of the after holidays depression, as well as having a sinus infection for a few days.  But I'm feeling much better now, thanks for asking.

As for the podcast, my worst enemy is myself, as I can be a bit of a perfectionist, when creating something like this.  And I don't want to do it unless it's perfect, or at least be of a good quality.  For this I hesitate getting started.  This is something I must definitely get over.  I will never be a quality podcaster, I don't have the skills for that.  Neither can I afford all the right equipment to do it up right and make it sound as professional as I want it.

Seems as there are just as many homeless people on the streets of downtown San Diego as ever, despite claims that the homeless are being helped with apartments and such through a housing first program.

One of the current issues of homelessness is that the police are telling people who sleep on the sidewalks, that they cannot use tents.  Not only do the tents help protect the homeless, they also help to protect their possessions from damage from the elements, and helps them keep their things from being stolen.  And perhaps best of all, since the homeless have no where else to store their belongs except on the sidewalks, keeping their things in tents makes the city look cleaner, and more orderly.  And that, of course seems to be the biggest of all complaints that people have about the homeless, that they make the city look unattractive with all their belongings scattered about.  To solve this particular issue it only makes sense to encourage the homeless to use tents.  But no, cops say the homeless can't use them, and thus the city looks trashy, causing people to call the police and complain about it, thus giving the cops the excuse to harass the homeless.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

testest


Just figuring this out

Check out this episode!

Potential Roll Out Coming

A potential roll out of individuals staying at the homeless veterans shelter is coming tomorrow.  Just something I heard on the grapevine.   You see, shelters here are under certain obligations to processes the homeless out of the shelter and into something more permanent.  Of course this shelter, like all shelters here, do almost nothing to fulfill that obligation.  Instead they place the onus on the homeless person to fix their own issues, despite the fact that few homeless people possess the means to do so.  Still the shelter will dust the blame off their own shoulders and place it on the homeless.

Birthday

Yep, tomorrow is my birthday!
( gifts are always appreciated )

Friday, January 2, 2015

Anticipation

It's making me wait - and you too.  I'm still learning how to do the podcast thing, (it's more complicated than blogging).  And I am figuring out how to do it all on my phone, the blogging and the podcasting, and everything else that supports them.  It's no easy trick.  But eventually you'll be able to get my podcasts on my blog and on iTunes.  That just might help grow my audience, my popularity, and eventually my income. Independent living is really for the birds, we humans are social creatures and actually need each other to maintain our health and sanity.  But society is pushing against it - no wonder we're all going crazy.   At least I'm making the attempt, anyway.

Friday, December 26, 2014

This Blog

This blog is doing well enough, I guess.  Although among other active blogs, this blog is too small to show up on any radar.  For the past couple years this blog has generated over 1000 page views a day.  But considering all the traffic on the internet, and all the traffic dedicated to blog reading, this blog is smaller than small fries - not even plankton size in the grand scheme of things.  To get where I need to be, I'll need a readership 10x bigger. 10,000 page views a day

Wouldn't it be great, though, if there was so much traffic to this blog, so many readers here, that I could generate income enough to live on?   Only for a very brief time (a couple months) at the very beginning did that happen.   Still, there are many people who are doing just that.  Their blogs and other internet creations are making them enough money to live on.   And you know me, I live small, so it really wouldn't take that much for me to be content and living off the streets.

Well, I'm gonna give it one last push, one last attempt at growing my audience.  This I will try by creating a podcast to go along with the blog.  Seems people are more into podcasts these days.  Blogs are a thing of the past.  Given all the technology available, and given the very busy-ness of people's lives, they are more inclined to listen, than to read, a blog.   I'm getting ready to publish my first podcast.  it should be up and running in a couple days.  It will be available on my blog and on my fb page, or you will be able to go directly to it at thehomelessguy.libsyn.com.

Tell all your friends about it, help spread the news.

thanks

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas

Yeah, I said it.  I said Merry Christmas!  Who's gonna stop me?  No one.  And you know why no one is going to stop me from saying Merry Christmas?  Because no one is trying to stop me from saying Merry Christmas - not them liberals, not them atheists - not them heathens believing in other religions.  They really don't care.

Seriously, your seriousness about the holiday means almost nothing to them.  Well, sometimes it makes them wonder, and a little worried why people think the holiday is "under attack".  Only mentally ill people obsess so much over things that don't really exist.

You see, Christmas is more than just a religious holiday, it's a celebration of life itself, regardless of your creed.  Yep, that's right, just because you're  a Christian doesn't mean you own the holiday, and it doesn't mean you get to dictate how people celebrate it.  In this particular country, the USA, everyone is free to do things the way they want, regardless of what others think.

That's what freedom is all about - being free from government, being free from religion, being free from your neighbors.  That's what makes celebrations like Christmas special - the people you have gathered together are with you because they wanted to, not because someone forced them to.  And that's "pretty cool," eh Miley?

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Loose Lips

It rarely happens but sometimes I forget myself and I get a little mouthy.  I have to keep reminding myself that I need to stay in the mode of an observer and to not get involved in the petty issues that some of the homeless seem to wallow in.

At each meal, the men of the shelter line up to receive a plate of food.  For the few women in the shelter, and for the handicapped, an exception is made.  They are not required to wait in line.  Instead they are able to take first seats at the table, and their food, etc., is brought to them.  This happens before anyone else is served.  The irritating thing is that most of the people designated at handicapped, really aren't so physically impared that they can't stand in line with the rest of us shmucks.  One such person this morning, prior to breakfast, was in front of the tent, riding a skateboard.  When seconds were called for breakfast, he stood up, raised his hand and said, "yeah, here, at the handicap table."   To which I then snarkily replied, "yeah, riding that scooter around all morning, you're handicapped."  He became indignant and shouted, "who said that?"  Well, I really didn't want to get into it with him, so I just remained quiet.  Others who knew it was me said nothing, got him to calm down by distracting him with a new plate of food.

Then just a short time later, while people were still eating, some guy who wanted a cigarette, started walking the length of the tent yelling out. "Cigarette?"  "Cigarette?", as if he were selling beer at a ball game.   One of the other participants in the tent asked him to stop as it was disruptive and disrespectful, (something I totally agree with and was surprised that the staff let it go on for so long, this guy, and another who sells cigarettes, have been doing this for weeks).  Well, the two of them got into an arguement which drew the attention of the staff.  I decided then to get into the ruckus and asked the staffer about it.  I told him that when these guys do this, it disturbs the others.  I then asked, "are they allowed to do this?"  Well there's no specific rule against it, seeing as this particular thing never came up before.  So the staffer was stuck, and said "yeah."  "Really?", I asked incredulously. So I can walk up and down through the tent yelling stupid stuff too?  Great", was my reply.   At this point, "Cigarette" guy says, if you don't like it, get yourself a motel room."

There is still a general rule that people are supposed to be respectful of each other, and to keep the noise down, considering so many people are living in such close proximity to each other.  The staffer told "cigarette" guy to quiet down.  This got cigarettte guy to then exclaim, "WHAAAA, cry about it why don't you".  This was directed at me.   My blood  started to boil, my body began to shake, and I started marching directly towards cigarette guy.

My thought was, "looks like I'm going to be out on the street again tonight," as I considered how best to knock cigarette's head loose from his shoulders.  But just then the staffer yelled at cigarette guy to "quiet down or you're getting rolled out."

That defused the situation.  I then got a couple bowls of cheerios for myself and sat down at the table to eat.   Then as I usually do, I made my rack, packed up what things I'd need for the day, into a small athletic bag I have.  Then I left the shelter.  As I walked up to the bus stop I put on some gentle Christmas music and got myself into a better mood.

Monday, December 22, 2014

The Homeless Guy Podcast

Once again I am going to attempt to create a podcast as part of my homeless advocacy.  I am using Libsyn.com for the podcast hosting, and the episodes will eventually be available on iTunes.   I have a lot of learn before this becomes a reality.  So don't get your hopes up just yet.


Check out this episode!