Thursday, June 15, 2006

My Memories of Being Homeless – Of Despair

I don't think a week, or a month, or anything less than a year is really enough to understand homelessness. At least that's my opinion. Also, and most importantly, is that real homelessness is not about the hunger or the poverty - it’s about the hopelessness.

When you are an undercover homeless person, perhaps doing an expose or thesis, you still have a future. There is definite point in time that your homelessness will end and where your talents will flourish, be recognized, and be rewarded. For the homeless person no such place in time exists. Being homeless is usually not the first choice for most people and the longer a person is homeless, the more the hope for a viable future diminishes.

The worst part of being homeless is the despair. I was one of the lucky ones – I still had dreams. I still wanted to be a famous rock musician and my despair was greatly minimized by this fact. But of course, it’s not enough to have dreams - you have to acquire the tools to facilitate your dreams.

I should mention that there is more than one type of homelessness. I discovered that there are a lot of people that have jobs but no home. Some people live in their cars. I soon got a job and became one of them. I made sure to get a job at a restaurant where I could have access to not only meals, but the bathroom sinks to wash up. It was easy to work extra shifts and stay indoors too. No one seemed to notice. With a second job, I eventually rented a small room in a house and of course, got back on track.

-Just a peasant