Homeless camps for homeless vets on the grounds of military bases. Even for just a few weeks in winter. Offer help with employment search and housing search. A young GI getting in trouble would be a great volunteer to help the vets get on their feet and prevent future homelessness by waking up the young men to the realities of taking the wrong path.
Category Archives: Activisim
Real Change Story
http://realchangenews.org/index.php/site/archives/9510 This Real Change story has some great insight into the necessity of homeless encampments.
Homelessness as a Political Football Part 2
Okay. So both major political parties have figured out how to use homelessness to get more money and more votes. Homelessness is a BIG ISSUE to them, but only because property owners and the general population see it as a problem. Not necessarily because many people die on the streets every year. Lives wasted. We as homeless and formerly homeless people have to get our voices heard so that the money spent on homeless programs don’t get wasted on short-sited, useless programs that only help a select few and cost way too much.
Here’s how you can help: Write down what you think your city or state needs to do; then get the help of a librarian or counselor to get you in contact with the people in government who can implement your suggestions. Contacting your state representative through email is a possibility in the computer age.
If you are going to vote on November 4th, and I strongly suggest you do, pick a candidate who is supportive of the rights of homeless people who are trying to get off the streets. Find names of these people by googling “homeless issues” and the name of your state. Write down the names of the good guys (if there are any…) and do more googling to find more out about them. And don’t forget to get a contact address or email. Tell them you support what they are trying to do and give them a few suggestions about what you see is working to help homeless people get where they want to be.
Spooky Tales from Brain Sections
Adult content. Copyrighted material.
The brick exterior of the massive asylum building towered over Vic as he slipped around its contours. He peered into some of the windows as he made his way to the place were the Day Room was on his map. Moonlight shone into the large windows and gave Vic a clear view of each room’s contents. Cheap, broken furniture lay scattered beneath ornate windows and graceful high ceilings. Sweeping oak staircases hovered over checkerboard tile floors warped from water damage.
Vic was overcome by how the decay, erosion, and splendor, all mixed into each other. He also wondered about the total senselessness in erecting enormous buildings and then finally abandoning them altogether. Letting them stand and rot, unwanted and forgotten; while the former residents were put out into the street to fend for them selves, as mentally ill people still are, in many cases. If the ‘system’ was wrong, why couldn’t anybody fix it? Vic shuttered from a chill. The wind blew from the East. Vic knew it was bad weather wind. He hoped any rain would come down later in the night, when he was finished with what he had to do.
The directions on the map lead him to the door that entered the Day Room. The doorway was a tangle of vines. Vic used his pocketknife to cut through the mass before he could open the door. Stepping into the ramshackle building, he felt the crunch of debris under his shoes. He was worried about the beam of his flashlight being seen from the outside, so he wrapped his handkerchief around it to dim the light.
The enormous room was a jumble of peeling paint, shattered glass, and littered objects. A large ornate arched window lay at the far end, but tracing the way to it was a set of cheap florescent light fixtures from the 1960’s. Vic glanced at Trudy’s map and tried to figure out where the Main Hall was. Finally, he found the interior passageway. It was lined with doors and had very few windows, so he could remove his handkerchief from his flashlight and let the beam shine brighter.
Vic’s intended destination was Dr. Max Woodruff’s office. He wanted answers that could only be found in Dr. Max’s files. Maybe he could find copies of the pictures that were in the file box that he had found in Ralph’s trunk, and later lost. With that evidence in hand, he could go to the police and put an end to Doctor Woodruff and Nurse Witenganz’s unethical experiment.
Walking through the Main Hall, Vic wondered how long it would take him to find the right room. There must have been more than a dozen doors along the hall. Most of the rooms were tiny. Were they used for treatments, isolation, or counseling? Vic couldn’t tell. Some doors were partially open and Vic peered into them for just a few seconds. Many of the small rooms held strange equipment and Vic could only guess what the machines were used for. One room held some kind of apparatus with electronic switches and cables running from it. There was a gauge in the shape of an arc, the danger zone marked in red. A table with arm and leg restraints was nearby. Vic guessed that this was the electro-shock room. He stared at the sweat stained leather restraint straps.
At that moment, a creak came from outside the door in the hall. Turning the flashlight off, he stood in the darkness for a few seconds. Thoughts of the three zombies he had encountered the first night he was at Brightbrook came to his mind. Vic’s heart was beating at a rapid pace. He listened and waited. No other sounds came, so slowly he walked back out into the hall and looked around carefully. Another creak came. It was the wind blowing through a broken window pane disturbing the door of another room.
Relieved, Vic progressed down the hall. He saw a door that had the sign ARCHIVES on it. He turned the door knob and cringed at the loud creak it made when he opened it. The room was filled with large, dust covered medical reference books. He stepped into the room and surveyed the shelves that were sagging under the weight of the massive volumes. Wiping the dust off of some of the bindings, he read the long ponderous titles with words like anatomy and psychiatry, blended in the mix. He flipped through pages of a few books sitting on a large table. The musty smell forced him to close the outdated volumes with crumbling pages.
Taking notice of a peculiar set of framed objects on the wall, he moved closer to get a better look. Vic was stunned when he realized they were human brains, thinly sliced and pickled in some preserving solution. He removed one of the framed brain sections from the wall and studied the gray form. Each frame gave a patient’s number, the mental illness they suffered from and, a brief description of what caused their demise. The typewriter imprinted card on the frame he was holding gave an account of patient #303’s slow and painful death. Having some medical knowledge in the Marines as a medic, his eyes scanned the card. Stroke… contractures… sepsis… gangrene… death. Seeing the words contractures, sepsis, and gangrene indicated to Vic that the patient suffered a long, painful, and avoidable death. Basically, a stroke patient was left unattended in a bed, in their own filth, for long periods until their demise finally came.
He stared out the window as the impending storm tossed the tree branches. The moonlight defined the tree branches blowing around outside the window. The shadowy black shapes danced around the floor of the room and around him. Vic was absorbed with the terrifying thought that an absurd end such as this could happen to anyone, including Carter. Unexpectedly, the frame slipped from his grip and crashed to the floor. Within seconds, the smell of formaldehyde filled the room. Afraid that the noise had attracted someone’s attention, Vic swiftly left the archives and crouched behind a desk in the Main Hall. Minutes ticked by, but no one came. With a sigh of relief, he got up slowly and went to the open door of the archives room. The brain section of the anonymous mental patient lay on the floor. It glistened in the moonlight from the window as the shadows of the tree branches moved around it, and seemed to stroke it. Vic wiped the sweat off his hands and slowly closed the creaky door. His heart was pounding in his chest.
So, What is the Solution?
In my opinion, the solution to homelessness is not to get stuck on finding only one solution. Answers to the problem of homelessness will have to be diverse as the population of homeless is diverse. There is no one cause. There can be more then one solution, if we use our brains.
First, let’s get on with the simple solutions: Is your state like mine where the cost of living has skyrocketed in the last 40 years and left so many people struggling? Is the taxation system fair? In my state, the lowest income population get taxed at a very high rate compared to other states. Anyone doing anything about that? No. That’s got to change.
Second, people who start businesses should get the strong message from our country that DISCRIMINATION BASED ON RACE (or any other kind of discrimination against the equal opportunity employment act) IS NOT ALLOWED . Too many business owners in the city where I live hire only “their own kind” and don’t see this as discrimination. “We are more comfortable working with our own kind” is a bullshit cover for blatant racism. Follow the laws of this country, damn it, and don’t complain about the homeless man laying on the sidewalk of your business if they are another race and you never hire “their kind”.
Third… why people got to be so greedy? They want everyone to pay through the nose for food, rent, and services while the owners of these businesses that provide the goods and services live like kings. A damn shame. This is a big contributor to homelessness in my state. Law makers, get a clue. We in the general public need protection from these wolves. Pass some laws already!!
Forth, when you have evened out the playing field by doing the steps above, take each case of homelessness as an individual case and spend funds for drug counseling, shelters, mini housing, mental health services, etc. as needed. Guaranteed the bill will be less for the tax payer if things are done in this order.
I have a t-shirt that says: “Stupid seems to be the new smart” and if anyone has ever tried to go head to head with the powers-that-be to change things or right some wrong, you know what I mean. The last few months all I have heard from people is “I don’t know”, “I can’t tell you that”, “We don’t give that information out, because we are afraid of litigation”. Wow, stupid does seem to be the new smart. But, the truth is, if you are not doing your job by helping someone and YOU are getting paid, the taxpayers are wasting their money on you and sooner or later… you will be down-sized.
Racism and Homelessness
In my opinion, those who are racist in their hiring policies and associations should not have any say on how a town or city treats homeless people. If you don’t hire people, they end up on the streets. How dumb do you have to be to not get that?
Combining Food Stamps, Food Banks, and Soup Kitchens
Combining the resources of these public and private services may be a good idea:
1. If someone uses their food stamps to “buy” a hot meal at a soup kitchen, those facilities will be funded AND the homeless person will have a hot meal (hot meals are currently not allowed under food stamps ).
2. If people using the food banks and soup kitchens are required to have a food stamp card to get services, there would be a system to track the people getting food. Then cases where people who “double and triple dip” into the system will be discouraged and more people can be served. I know a man who has food stamps, disability checks and every day he eats 3 meals at the free feedings at shelters, etc. AND he goes to the food bank for snacks. He is 400 pounds, at least!
3. If people were at the food banks to assist the homeless in filling out applications for food stamps, there would not be cases where homeless people are falling through the cracks.
4. Food stamp fraud would be greatly reduced, because people would have only a portion of the amount they get in food stamps available for shopping at grocery stores. Maybe 20%. The rest they would have to get at food banks. No more people paying homeless drug addicts to use their food stamps. No more people buying junk food and unhealthy food on Uncle Sam’s dollar. No more steak and lobster on food stamps.
Sound good? Write your congressional representative or senator.
Well, I Hoped Things Were Getting Better…
But, they seem to be getting worse. The state lawmakers have gotten back from their holiday break and the homeless abuse has began again. Yesterday a couple with 2 small girls got all their clothes and food taken from them. I hope all the new residents of this country (that are pushing for these kinds of sweeps) get a chance to experience the same sense of loss some day. They returned our welcome with such cold hearts, and I think it only fair.
Glad that more people are interested in the small time…
I see that more people have been clicking on my Small Houses Resource Guide post. It would be great if the mayors of our cities would take an interest in providing small housing options for people who do not want or need a large house, but who do want to feel like they have a house and a piece of land to work on and grow food.
I know, I know, we are all supposed to live in apartments, if we can’t afford big monstrous homes. That’s our punishment, right?
When did housing your body get so complicated? Lots of people only need one room and can only afford it. But does that mean they should be cramped into an apartment slum? Think about it; land that is just going to waste somewhere. Lay some plumbing and a road. Some street lights. Then divide up lots. 25’x25′ or 50’x50′. The people can move in with just tents, if the climate permits, and then move around in the space to find neighbors that they are comfortable with. No assigning and locking people in. Too George Orwell. When they find their spot and keep peaceful for a trial period (about a year)… then they get to meet with charities who can help them build their safe, affordable, snug home. Whooo ray for us, we helped stop homelessness.