Another day in the life “out here”Posted by in Homelessness
Nobody said that dealing with homelessness is easy and that goes for both the homeless and the service providers trying to get people into a better life. There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes most folks don’t realize and because of that, assumptions are made that there’s resources to help the poor when in fact, there really aren’t. Local organizations and faith based groups do their best to meet the need but everyone out here knows they can’t. It’s because of that fact, individuals try to get involved in their communities by helping the folks they interact with on a daily basis but beware! You might incur the wrath of not so compassionate neighbors or local politicians who think that status quo policies are the only ways in which to help people.
I run into that every day of course but I don’t let it stop me because my experience tells me to keep doing what I’m doing but there are times I run into what I call “dry spells”. This is when donations run low or stop all together. In a perfect world, I’d have childcare and a job to pay for what I do without having to ask for donations. Hell, I’d have housing for crying out loud but the reality is that I don’t and these little part time jobs and occasional odd jobs do not pay for childcare nor are they enough to get us out of homelessness so while I’m out here, why not make a difference where I’m at? I don’t think folks realize how much of my own money is spent on providing basic survival items to folks that aren’t being provided elsewhere but that’s what it’s all about isn’t it? Besides, if local orgs and faith based groups could handle all the folks now asking for help, I would think common sense would dictate that they would’ve done so by now and if so, there wouldn’t be all these homeless people milling about with nowhere to go.
Every day, I find a homeless senior, unaccompanied youth, vet, cancer patient, single parent or disabled person living out of their vehicles, under bridges, in the woods, at the airport, around bus stations and under railroad trellises or on river banks but unless major funding comes in to local groups to get them out of homelessness, they will live and die where they’re currently at. That’s a thought always lurking in the back of my mind for myself as well. When I found out about that mother of five in Skyway that committed suicide because she couldn’t get help when she needed it, I wonder about how bad things will get before people take homelessness seriously enough to actually get involved in doing something about it.
Even now, I’m wondering how long I’ll be able to stay online. My laptop is dying, and my cell phone needs a new battery, a charger or both and without a connection to the internet, my voice will go silent just like so many others do out here. Sure I can try to reserve an hour spot on a library computer but the services there are limited. Then there’s the constant worries over gas, insurance, childcare and a living wage job. I have some new health issues popping up that are directly related to living out of a vehicle but that’s actually the least of my worries right now. They say time is man’s most precious commodity and that’s certainly true out here because most of us are living on borrowed time. Nobody wants to think about whether or not they’ll live to see a spot come up on year’s long waiting lists for housing but that’s what ends up happening out here.
Sure, I could sell the van but wouldn’t get that much out of it and what’s the point of selling your only transportation and shelter? The monies gained by selling it wouldn’t even last a year in rent. People ask me all kinds of questions about how I live out here and to me it’s redundant when I can tell they focus on everything else but the fact that there’s no housing help! I especially enjoy ignorant vitriol from people who live in insulated vacuums because every time they open their mouths, their cluelessness is blatant. To those of you doing what you can to help others I say this; grow a thick skin fast! Don’t worry about what stupid people say or do because if they aren’t part of the solution, they’re the problem, right?
The point of this blog was supposed to be about asking for donations but with all that goes on out here, one can’t help to engage in the occasional rambling on about what goes on in the daily life of a homeless mother on a mission most people would rather dismiss. Sooner or later, hardships will come knocking on your door. How you handle them depends on who you are, where you’re at and whether or not there’s help when you need it. It is my hope that you don’t lose hope and don’t give up even if the situation seems hopeless.