Recently, someone mailed a package to my actual street address. Now, very few people even know my address, but I don't know who. Sadly, someone took the package before I could collect it. Whoever sent it, please let me know. And, please, if you are to send something to me via regular mail, let me know ahead of time, so I'll know to look for it. Thank you.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Facebook has changed its Terms of Service, saying that they can use any of the content you post for anything they want to.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
I have gone a whole week without posting here. And, I'm having a hard time writing anything, anymore. So I guess this is a more formal announcement that I may not be blogging for a while still.
You will never know just how much I appreciate all you readers and supporters, especially those of you who have followed since the very beginning - Aug 2002.
I am still in transitional housing, and I am having a hard time making the necessary transition. I'll be in this state for a while yet. And that's not a pleasant thought. I do have a key to a door that I can lock - a small efficiency of my own - but all my neighbors are the same folks I was trying to get away when I first took transitional housing - other chronically homeless people trying to rise up above the prehistoric ooze of homelessness. And my neighbors still have many of the issues that caused them to become homeless in the first place. People who are on meds, when they remember to take them, and they don't always. The cops had to be called on the guy in the unit right next to mine cause he was acting all bat crazy. The cops who came knew this guy well. The first thing they asked him was "have you taken your meds?" lol How bad is that? In ways, transitional housing is worse than being homeless.
Yes, I am still in need of support from other people, and will be especially for at least the next couple months. If you feel lead to lend a hand, I would very very much appreciate it. The most convenient way is to use the Paypal Donation link in the the right hand column. If you want to send me something instead, email me and I'll give you my mailing address.
If I start blogging again, you'll be the first to know.
Be good to one another. Be good to yourself.
Sunday, February 8, 2009
This was a letter I received recently.
I was wondering if you would consider adding something to your blog on an issue we are dealing with here in Dallas right now. The City is really starting to clamp down on the homeless as of late (even more so than before) and this Church was one of the only places that people banned from other shelters or people with no other option due to shortage of shelter beds can go. It is a classic example of harassment by the City. I had lunch with her yesterday and Karen Dudley is a women who is refusing to give up. Her Church is located in a very blighted area of Dallas with very little business and residential housing in the area. There is not the typical NIMBY situation involved but we cannot figure out who is complaining or why the City is doing this. Anyway, she is trying to take legal action and I am trying to help her get the word out in any form of media I can find. This has been posted on the local Dallas Homeless Network blog. http://dallashomelessnetwork.blogspot.com/
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
A letter to the editor
We empathize with the challenges faced by St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church in working with well-intentioned members of the community to end homelessness, and the reflections some church leaders offered in "The challenge of charity" (Commentary, Jan. 30) illustrate the limits of charity, the promise of social justice and the importance of pursuing both.
Three years ago, in collaboration with the city, we helped more than two dozen people leave St. Vincent Park and move into permanent housing. Many had lived on the streets for a decade; most were disabled. Today, 90 percent of those people remain stably housed.
Thanks to the church's collaboration with Baltimore Homeless Services and others, more individuals will be assisted using this Housing First approach - an approach so effective that it has become the underlying philosophy of the mayor's "Ten-Year Plan to End Homelessness."
The documented success of Housing First illuminates the primary causes of contemporary homelessness: grinding poverty, poor health and the woeful shortage of affordable housing. The current economic crisis only exacerbates these problems as an increasing number of individuals and families find sanctuary in places like St. Vincent Park.
The charity of a sandwich or clothing may prevent people from starving or freezing this winter - and if ever charitable acts were needed, they're required now.
But collectively we must expend even greater effort to ensure affordable housing, accessible health care and sustainable incomes for all our neighbors.
Monday, February 2, 2009
I very rarely make web page recommendations not associated with homeless issues, but this web based service is very deserving. Pandora.com is internet radio that you control. They put you, the listener in charge of what is playing, with out charging you anything for this privilege. You tell them who you like and they start playing songs by that person. Then they provide other recommendations according to your likes. If you don't like a particular song, they stop it immediately and give you another. You can create your own radio stations, so you can play music according to your mood at the time. You can also mix and match stations you've created.
They also provide a great deal of bio information about the artists you search for. You can also see what your friends are listening too, and can make recommendations to them via your own Pandora profile page.
Pandora may very well be the end of I-Tunes.
Sunday, February 1, 2009
So Patricia was found yesterday, I guess about 5pm. I wrote about it later on that night. This morning at a homeless breakfast, word had already gotten out about Patricia. Homeless people in Nashville don't read my blog. So they found out another way. It's amazing the homeless rumor mill. Faster than lightning, and 99% inaccurate. Someone asked me if it was true, about Patricia, that she was murdered. I told him no, that she committed suicide. Then when I got back to my apartment that afternoon, I asked someone, who might know, about it. And sure enough, there's a possibility that someone killed her and tried to make it look like suicide.
I am depressed, and now angry, about all this mess. I can't sleep, haven't slept since yesterday. This particular apartment building is not secure, and yet management sends people out here who are less than stable - instead of to another of this company's facilities that provides more supervision. Most homeless people are good, decent, albeit messed up folks. But it only takes one or two unstable, crack smoking, mentally ill people to ruin things.
I'm tired. I'm tired of society, including the police, treating homeless people as criminals just because they are homeless - and thus will not provide protection to the homeless like they would for any other group of people.
It's time for society to separate the wheat from the chaff of the homeless population - and not lump all homeless people together under one definition, or into one facility.
Today, as I was getting ready to leave my apartment for the day, I noticed police cars outside. Poked my head out the door and saw a crowd of people at the other end of building. It's a certain kind of crowd, distinguishable from any other, I knew what was up.
I got dressed and went down to meet the people gathered. Everyone was quite, moving little, and talking less. I watched as the police, and others, reopened the apartment door and went inside. Although I knew, I asked what happened. The monitor of the building said that a case manager came by to do a "wellness check" on Patty. People had not heard from her in a while, and the last people knew, she was having some personal issues. Since Patty did not answer the door for the case manager, he asked the monitor, since she was female, to go inside, in case Patty wasn't dressed for a male visitor. (I personally don't like the phrase "are you decent?" to question whether a person isn't dressed, but that's what I mean.)
The monitor found Patty's body. The case manager went in. They found sealed letters to several people, including one to her Pastor. The police were then called. I think about 7 police personnel were involved at one point or another. Last of all, a Police Chaplain showed up, wearing a jogging suit, a jacket with "Police Chaplain" in bold letters on the back, and a Pittsburgh Steelers ball cap.
I stayed until the coroner drove away. I don't know why I stayed there so long, except it seemed important somehow, for there to be witnesses to the event, not unlike a funeral.
I liked Patty. She was more intelligent and respectable than most homeless people. Many homeless people seem to lose their self respect for being on the street, but she never did.
She once told me that the hardest part of being homeless was having to stay at the women's rescue mission. But, that she was able to endure it by staying busy with work at the Homeless Power Project. She said she originally became homeless because using Crack had messed up her life. But, she overcame her drug problem and was working on reclaiming her life. She had taken on transitional housing, and was employed.
This is a picture of her, and a few others from the Homeless Power Project, with the Mayor of Nashville (the man in the jacket). She's wearing the lavender sweater.