I am just going to start and we will see how this ends up, I keep some notes I wrote while being homeless last summer, so here it goes.
How to be homeless—find all the resources you can 211 information line is a wonderful start. You will need a phone book, (I stole one out of the motel we stayed in) and a detailed street map. (Had to buy one for $7 at a Fred Myers) Find a shelter program get all the local information possible. Things like where to shower and where you can use the bathroom.
Salvation Army feeding programs, hot meals or bagged lunches. Locate food banks and church pantries. Some shelter programs have communication issues between their staff and volunteers. Day Shelter vs Overnight Shelter- Rules know all the rules, find out the rules. Especially if not told up front, don’t break the rules. Engage the staff learn the routine.
Sitting at a park, because hello, public bathrooms, which are very important to the lost wanderer. Listing to the constant traffic, planes taking off and landing repeatedly and the buses that run every 10 minutes all day every day. The city is loud, since being here I haven’t heard any silence. ( I miss the quiet)
Why do we –people make life changing decisions based on emotion? Where dose that deep seeded feeling of wanting to find something better come from? You’re here it’s stable live your nine to five day job life and be grateful for what you have. Even if your not happy or healthy.
Nope- there are those of us that jump without a safety net, maybe we are delusional or crazy, or we just haven’t found where we are suppose to be. Maybe we have to venture out of the box to know that existing in the box is ok.
It’s the little things, like privacy, getting to be naked in your own space, being able to cut your hair or toenails, without an audience of strangers around. The bathroom- that you take for granted- is the place you miss the most. I give props to this particular public park for it’s upkeep. Although having the bathrooms closed on the 4th of July was a bit annoying.
So you pack up your life into your vehicle, one of the things that you own outright and you drive. You have a point B in mind however the point B is never what you expect it to be. How is it that people that are given, a stable life ie- a house, money, a place to come back to, squander it. I am sorry but you have a house- that is now trashed, with stuff.
Two cases first a girl I meet in Jr. High now lives out in the middle of nowhere, because that’s where her parents retired to, was given land to put her home on and she managed to bag an internet husband. (I know harsh, but seriously) So he works she stays home and sleeps almost all day every day. In a nice four bedroom two bath house that is completely trashed, because she’s depressed, a pack rat (hoarder) and then there are the animals (oh my god the fucking animals) To many cats to count, a hand full of dogs and some full size aquariums all living inside.
All I want is four walls, a ceiling, floor and plumbing that works. A place that I can be safe, happy and clean. To raise my family in and to be able to enjoy our life.
Second case- eight years after witnessing the sad state of the first friends living conditions, we ventured out to our point B once again someone I knew back in High School that I had reconnected with over the lovely world of social media during the last few years. So we stop by and once again here is a house- totally trashed- by laziness, hoarding and depression. This person has two kids, a few cats, a dog, and her mother all living in what use to be a very nice house, with tons of potential.
Crazy, maybe I am missing something, are there more people living this way than I am aware of? Or am I just a little too OCD- with wanting the daily functions of life to be clean and organized. I am not making labels for every shelf but I am wanting laundry done, dishes done, floors clean, general straightening up of the living space, and a clean bathroom.
But NO I am the one sitting on hard, cold metal bleachers, looking out at a softball field, listing to the constant traffic trying to figure out how to get back to a status of ok.