Discussion in 'Help Me! I Need to Talk to Someone.' started by jnick, Jan 10, 2013.

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  1. jnick

    jnick Well-Known Member

    I will very possibly become homeless in the next month or so. What people don't grasp about the homeless is that lack of shelter is rarely their primary problem. If I become another of the unsheltered my main concern will not be lack of shelter, but it will be horrible nonetheless. I recently found someone that is a much more direct writer than myself, who describes what I am talking about beautifully:

    I get too much praise for this blog. The praise is extreme. I think I have an idea why. I'm one of the few people that doesn't try to give you a path to leave homelessness, and that is a welcome relief. I don't try to save you. I don't humiliate you.

    Homelessness is isolating. No one understands what you are going through. People who know you are homeless are constantly trying to cure you of the condition. Cure you, like you have a disease. They have telethons, church fundraisers, comedians get together and have television specials to raise millions for the homeless. By the way, where the heck did that money go? Robin Williams, Billy Crystal, Whoopie Goldberg, if you are reading this, please explain how Comic Relief ever assisted me, or really anyone.

    The first problem with relief efforts is they reach the rich. It's easy for a donor to find Comic Relief and make a donation, but it is very, very hard for Comic Relief to find a homeless teenager, figure out what that child needs and provide it, even if the charity had unlimited funds. The second problem is the charity is deaf in a far more profound way than a person might be deaf. Deaf people find ways to communicate, form communities, learn to listen with their eyes and talk with their hands. Charities, by contrast, and I don't mean to single out Comic Relief, never talk to the people they are "helping". They are deaf, blind, and stupidly attached to their assessment of the problem.

    As a homeless person, I do not want someone to feed me. I do not want someone to house me. I do not want a blanket, and I will not work for food! You have to ask me what it is I need if you want to have an effect. As a homeless person, I am not even trying to find a way out of homelessness. It is too simple to say that I was going just fine until someone took my shelter away, and now I am in chaos. If only someone would give me back my shelter the chaos would abate. Nonsense. I'm not in chaos. I have a definable set of problems and giving me shelter won't solve them. It is only a tiny piece. Furthermore, I don't want a cure for my life. Most people who write to me who are homeless chose homelessness. Homelessness was their answer to another problem, a foreclosed home, a lost job, a catastrophic disease which left them bankrupt and disabled, an abusive family, a lack. Alas, this is the hardest thing to explain. Homelessness was a positive step toward solving other problems.

    Robin, Whoopie, Billy, I love you guys. I watch your movies. I like your stand up. I could do without The View but you can't please everyone all the time. I don't expect you to solve homelessness. It doesn't need solving. People who are homeless could use some help sometimes, but you have to listen and see and think about how to offer that help. Money and laughs won't do it. You are just salving the guilt of society. Don't do that. Society needs to be uncomfortable.

    I've thought a long time about what would be useful to the homeless. We need public toilets. Not filthy portapotties, but proper restrooms that are private and clean. We need safe places to sleep. Capsule hotels, which are found in Tokyo and some other places in the world, would be most excellent. The rooms should be very cheap, and I mean five bucks is too much. They should be subsidized, and there should be twice as many as there is a demand for them. They should be extremely secure, and you should be allowed to stay for as long as you want. We need showers. Safe, secure, single occupancy showers. Those are answers that would help people.

    If cities want us off the streets, they should offer these alternatives. They would be cheap and easy.

    Teen runaways who declare that they are without guardianship should not be treated as criminals, and should not be compelled to live a criminal life. They should be issued cards which confer the right to work upon them. Forget child labor laws. They have a perverse outcome, effectively forcing children to become prostitutes, drug dealers, and thieves. Emancipation should be an on-demand right for all children.

    Get rid of laws which forbid sleep. Who are you kidding? Those laws contribute to the meth problem in this country. Those laws destroy lives.

    You want to solve problems? Homeless people have problems, they are not the problem. Don't treat them as something that needs a cure.
    posted by Mobile Homemaker < edit moderator total eclipse personal link deleted>
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 10, 2013
  2. Wysteria Blue

    Wysteria Blue Well-Known Member

    Dear jnick,

    I'm really grateful to you for sharing this piece with us. I do hope that you do not become homeless, as it would probably worsen some of the other problems that you have.
    I wish you only the best no matter where you end up.. Just stay safe.
  3. Brighid Moon

    Brighid Moon Member & Antiquities Friend

    First, thank you very much for what you have written. I followed the name and found the blog. It looks like it will be wonderful.

    Second, having been homeless off and on throughout my life, it is a fact that there are many reasons people end up homeless. Running away is definitely one of them, and just giving a person housing doesn't cure everything, but it's at least a start. For some people it is the end of their plight. For other people, not so much. That's why it's so difficult to deal with homelessness; but people who help can only focus on the few things they can do something about: housing (so hard right now, I'm still up in the air on it, as well), food, clothing, help with utilities, drugs/alcohol, psychiatric or medical help. And none of those are perfect, because they're exactly the programs that get their money yanked from them at first threat of the economy diving. Yet, if you take away those programs, many more people would be in dire need. And I won't even go into the corruption at the bottom of the barrel in some of the "helping" places.

    "Give a hobo a key and he thinks he's God," is one quotation I hear, often.

    I, too, have known plenty of people who have chosen homelessness. There is nothing you can do to save them, because they do not need, nor want to be saved.

    I'm unsure the cause of your potential homelessness, but whatever it is I hope you can avoid it, and avoid it at all costs. Its dangerous, frightening and depressing out there. There are even articles from studies about how homelessness causes PTSD. So, while there's nothing I can do to help, I do send you my hope that you can avoid this.
  4. Tia

    Tia Well-Known Member

    thanks for sharing this. So true

    i really, really hope you do not become homeless, you are in my thoughts jnick, i wish you all the best

    good luck
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