Monday, February 1, 2016

One Month and One Day

It has been exactly one month and one day since I ended up in a Homeless Shelter here in Springfield Missouri.  

When I first came here, it was a big adjustment.  For the past month of December I had spent in two Psych Wards and had become accustomed to to being taken care of, set meals, classes, entertainment all provided.  

Well that changed drastically.  I am living in a shelter that provides a continental breakfast, bagels, sometimes cream cheese, usually doughnuts and sugary Cereal and evaporated milk.

Being Diabetic I usually have two cups of coffee and then go to the Welcome Center where I may get biscuits and gravy on a couple days during the week.  I also get my lunches at the Welcome Center, which changes day to day.  At the welcome center I also have access to the internet. 

For dinner I am shuttled to the Kettle, this is a place where you are fed the word of god then fed food.  The meals are filling and are a variety each evening.  7 Nights a week I am guaranteed a free dinner.

When I get home I do a chore a day to earn my room and board.

Then I have an evening class, and then usually I go to sleep.  Lights out is not til 10:30 P.M. but usually I am exhausted by this point.

It still is a planned day and I have no real free time.  I have been in the shelter now for a month and day and I need to get out.

I need privacy, I need to be able to cook my own meals and I need to feel valuable and not just like I am going through the motions.

I lost an Obama phone and trying to replace it has been a nightmare.  I need a phone to be able to apply for work.  I need work so I can get a place and move forward.  

I have learned a lot since being Homeless, such as that we take for granted having a place to live and time to do what we want and being able to cook food.  

At the same time I have also learned that perceptions are 90% illusion and 10% fact.  Why I can say this is that before I was homeless I perceived all Homeless as lazy, drunks worthless people who were pan handlers or destitute by choice.

The homeless are no more or less lazy than any other group, some are  very active in every program they can get in to improve their life and there are those who choose to be passive and not active in life, same as everyone else.

As to Drunks, a percentage of the Homeless are addicts or addicts in recovery.  Not all are drunks, the addictions can be from liquor, to drugs, to pornography to self destructive concepts.

Many who are homeless landed in a state or city with limited resources, they were unable to find work before funds ran out and because government programs have different guidelines state to state, they may have found they do not qualify for certain programs they may have in a  different state.

Another percentage were in Mental wards and did not have coverage so they  end up in a homeless shelter with a set number of weeks to months to find work and shelter.

Pan handlers, have not run into one in Springfield, if they exist they are in a different part of the city.  As to destitute by choice I have met a few, but they are of two types.  Those who have been homeless for so long it has become an occupation, or those who have hit rock bottom but bulding to recovery.

No two homeless people are alike, anymore than any two regular people who you meet on the street.  Half the time you may not even recognize us.  We dress for success in many cases.   Some of us are scorned, but I think you need to look in the mirror and the good book before you scorn a homeless person.

Why do I say this?  Because JESUS was HOMELESS.  Something to ponder.  

Hope that this has given you something to consider and something more to digest.


1 comment:

  1. Remember that you have had a family too as well as some if not the majority of those who are homeless. Lives were changed by others choices, turned upside down. There needs to be some restitution, not necessarily in monetarily means.

    In any case, you do bring thoughts to ponder and a perspective of homelessness that needed to be said.