Saturday, November 22, 2014

Living With High-Functioning Autism

This is so much me it's not even funny. Especially since my parents disowned me (and most of the rest of my family) all because they didn't understand this about me. Of course complications arose causing me other problems with depression and anxiety.  And misunderstandings led to me being ostracized by my family.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Some Homeless People

Yes, of course homeless people need help, and most of the time they don't get the help they need.   But, in trying to get help for the homeless, by trying to generate some compassion for the homeless, we advocates must not turn a blind eye to the negativity that homeless people bring upon themselves.

Sure, a lot of people are just haters, and hate on anything different from themselves, or they hate on anything that appears weak or vulnerable, or anything they deem to be on a lower standard than their own.  And it is only natural for us to want to defend the homeless from such hate.  Countering such hate is necessary if we are to get homeless people the help they need.  But it would be wrong of us to take the position that homeless people are only victims.  Sometimes homeless people bring problems unto themselves.  We must remain honest about that, when that happens, and include this reality in our defense of the homeless when we discuss homeless issues.

   If homeless people want society to treat them fairly, with dignity and respect, then it must be that the homeless must return the favor and treat society fairly, with dignity and respect.  Many homeless people are angry spiteful folks and they express those feelings in less than appropriate ways.

For example, if a homeless person tells a cop to "f*ck off", the homeless person, (or any other person) cannot then expect the best treatment from the cop.  Same thing goes when a drunk tries to panhandle and the people walking by say "no".  Telling those people who walked by to "go to hell" will not engender any warm and friendly feelings.  Not only will that homeless person fail in his attempt to receive charity, but more than likely he will make things worse for all homeless people.

Honestly, if homeless people expect the rest of society to help them, then the homeless will have to cut out all the crap and start behaving themselves in a more civil manner.   Ya know?  Don't bite the hand that feeds you.

And when advocating for the homeless, we cannot hide from the truth of homelessness, cause we certainly won't be able to pull the wool over everyone's eyes.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Holiday Time Is Charity Time

It is during the holidays that people are most inclined to consider the plight of the less fortunate and to respond in some measure to share their blessings with others.  So it is that charities also gear up at this time, working to raise money for the work they do.

I am no different.

When deciding on which homeless services to support, please also consider the work that I do here (without compensation) on this blog, and elsewhere. Although I am doing a bit better these days, I'm still only scratching by and could certainly use some financial relief.  I am now out of cash for the rest of the month and I still need to find a way to get laundry done - which costs about 5 dollars per load.  Added to my other financial obligations I now have a phone bill, a phone which I use for most of my online activities, like writing this blog and sharing information with others about homeless.  And I've yet to get a new pair of eye glasses which are in sore need of replacement.  I need a new prescription, as I no longer read most print - such as the signs on the bus that tell which bus is which.  A couple weeks ago I actually got on the number 2 bus, when I really needed the 7.

Any help you could send my way would be greatly appreciated.
You can send all nations through PayPal to thehomelessguy@gmail.com
thanks.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Health

I am feeling healthier today than I have in a long time. I actually got 6 hours of sleep last night, all at one time. Usually I have to get up two or three times during the night, sometimes more, to go pee. I cannot remember the last time I got so much sleep at once. I have been doing more walking too. There is an app on my phone, a pedometer actually. Although it gives me credit for a longer stride than I actually have, it accurately counts the number of steps I take. I make it a point each day to walk farther than I did the day before. If I can't do that then at least I attempt to walk farther then my weekly average.I have been able to avoid the bus and walk instead of taking the easy way. I am also making it a point to eat at the shelter and to avoid fast food as much as possible. I am eating a lot less McDonald's food these days. Sadly my addiction to Diet Coke is stronger than I am, at least at this point. But even then I am drinking a lot less of it. And I certainly hit a low point prior to moving into the veterans homeless shelter. Hopefully things will continue on a positive path.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Good Questions Recently Asked And My Answers (short because of time constraints)

All these answers are contingent on time and place.  One must be flexible when homeless to adjust to the changing climates, biological and political.

The basics:  I became homeless the first time in 1982.  Since then I've accumulated about 17 years of homeless street experience with a few more years living in halfway houses, etc.  I am 53 years old.

1. If you can't find a place to sleep (in a shelter, hotel, home) where do you go at night? This doesn't need to be an exact address or location, but general.

If I can't get into a shelter one night but know that I can the next, I'll usually find some 24 hour coffee shop and stay up all night - perhaps catching a few Zs, if I can get away with it - that depends on the coffee shop.   If I know that I'll be on the streets indefinitely, then I'll go look for other homeless people who are also sleeping out, and I'll set up camp as close as I can to them.  There is safety in numbers.  For that safety though, you usually give up a bit of peace and quiet, considering some of those homeless may become rowdy during the night.

2. What are the top 5 personal belongs you need to keep with you while you are without a home?
A quality backpack (Jansport is the best at a fair price), a couple changees of clothes, a sleeping bag, a tent, a towel.

3. Do you keep your personal belonging with you at all times? Or do you find a place to store them?
It's always best to keep your things with you at all times - which necessitates keeping your belongings to a minimum - of course some are unable to do so.  Some cities offer storage to the homeless, others's don't.  Some homeless who get monthly social security checks will rent with a regular storage facility.  Some times I've tried to hide my stuff, under foliage, in parking garages, etc., but often it gets stolen,  or I forget where I left it :)

4. Have you ever had them lost or stolen? What did you do? Did you get help from others or the police?
I have had many, many things stolen while on the streets. Of the few times I tried to get help from the cops, they were of no use.

5. Have you ever felt your health or safety threatened?
Yes, "feeling" threatened is a constant.  Actual incidents of altercations are rare.  Usually, you only find trouble on the streets if you go looking for it.   Stay friendly, stay sober, mind your own business, don't take things personally, and you'll be as safe as any non-homeless person.

6. How do you stay safe at night? Is this different then how you stay safe in the daytime?

Yes, there is a dread that comes over you when night falls - It think that has more to do with our DNA (have you ever read Carl Jung?)   Being that by law the homeless are not allowed to do much to protect and provide comfort for themselves, and being that the cops are constantly enforcing against homeless people, homeless people always feel vulnerable.    I have seen people attacked on the streets, and although I understand that the people involved were looking to start an altercation, the innocent cannot help but fear the same may happen to them as well.

7. What do you do about bad weather?
As much as is allowed.   When I look out the window of McDonalds and see the snow falling, and realize that I'll have to spend the night out in it, I remind myself that the pioneers dealt with the same situations and survived it fairly well.   A good sleeping bag will protect from just about any hypothermia.

8. If you could give a piece of advice to someone that was about to become homeless for the first time, what would you tell them?

"Don't Panic, always know where your towel is."  Although that's a humorous line from a book, it actually applies to homelessness.  It is natural to freak out the first time you become homeless, being that you are suddenly immersed into a very strange and unknown world, but panicking will only make matters worse. Get out of homelessness as fast as you can, but be prepared for it to take longer than you anticipate.  Don't tell anyone you are homeless unless it's to your advantage.