Remember the homeless and poor in 2014. i hope you don't have to remember them in 2015.
see you around town.
May God bless you and keep you safe. may 2014 bring all your hopes and aspirations to their fruition.
Remember the homeless and poor in 2014. i hope you don't have to remember them in 2015.
see you around town.
Contrary to what some people believe being homeless isn't easy. Not only from a survival standpoint but also from a spirtual and emotional standpoint. it can be and usually is very difficult. i think because it's new years eve and because there is a brutal cold front coming this way that i started thinking about this. it's suppose to be six degrees thursday nite with a wind chill well below zero. that's enough to make any man or woman think.
loneliness...it's a tough emotion to deal with. it effects different people in different ways. but when you're homeless i think there is a universal sort of way that it digs into your heart and eats at your soul. despite being around people most of your day and certainly your night, the loneliness is still there. you see....when you're homeless you've more or less been abandoned by everyone you know and everyone you loved. it doesn't matter why or how or when. the fact is you have been abandoned. that is not a good feeling. it hurts even the hardest of men. it cuts right to your heart. what makes it even worse is the fact that you really didn't abandoned them...in alot of cases you still haven't. you still think of them at night. you still wonder how they are. you still want to reconnect with them. you still love them. it's always with you....the loneliness. it can pop up at any time during the day or nite. you carry it around and it's just as heavy as the backpack you carry on your back. it's not visible, but it's a weight that's attached to you everywhere you go.
fear....yes...fear. you are afraid. you're afraid that somehow the nightmare won't end. you're afraid that when it does end it could happen again. you're afraid because you're vulnerable. you are at the mercy of other people. you are the mercy of the weather. you are at the mercy of the economy. you are at the mercy of politicians and social workers who don't know you...except as a statistic. you walk the streets every day and in some cases every nite. you are subject to muggings and robberies and in some cases the police. you are in a very precarious position at best and it is absolutely disconcerting.
anxiety....you are anxious about things other people take for granted. food....you are dependent on other people to eat. the time...the place...and the food itself are out of your control. you are anxious about your health. you know the slightest cold or the slightest injury can become serious because you have nowhere to rest. you have no roof over your head. you can't afford medication...the simplest of medication like a cold tablet or aspirin or antiseptic. even if you could, you get no prolonged period of rest so you know if you become sick or injured you are in for a long, painful process of recovery. you are anxious about money. what little money you may make working or receive from the gvt. goes to the necessities you have to obtain. sometimes it's clothing. sometimes it's bus passes so you can look for a job or go to the doctor or wherever you may need to go. anxiety on a daily basis can wear you down. it takes its toll.
frustration. you are frustrated with everything. the people around you. your situation. the past. the present. the future that doesn't come fast enough. you're frustrated from looking for a job and getting no response. you're frustrated that your time being homeless is dragging on and on and on. you're frustrated and sometimes angry.
despair. i think this is the worst of all emotions. you've done everything you can do. you have been trying every day. your situation hasn't improved and it's even gotten worse. you are sinking into that bottomless pit called despair. you feel yourself wanting to give up. it pulls at you...especially at nite. you have lost the very things that you once thought of as your identity. your family, your home, your job, your money, your sense of who you are. you feel yourself losing your will to carry on. it drains you. it paralyzes you.
embarrassment....yes...homeless people are embarrassed at being homeless. some more than others. but it bothers each and every one. we hear the remarks. we read the debates. we know what you think whether or not you say it outloud. we can hear you debating about us like we're not here...like we don't exist...like we're a commodity that you're trying to figure out the net worth of. we notice that you don't like looking us in the eye. we notice when you speak and when you don't. we notice when you're scared of us. we notice when you say we don't deserve anything. we notice when you say we're bums and welfare queens and ebt kings. we hear...we notice...and we're embarrassed, sometimes more for you than we are for ourselves.
despite the song...despite all the inspirational things that people seem to want to say about it....despite the "everyone has a burden" mentality of some people...despite all that....it does not make you stronger. it makes you weak. it kills you...slowly....as surely as a disease...it kills you. it's a silent killer. people don't realize just how bad it can be....how dibilatating it can be.
hope. it's the one thing that keeps all of the above at bay. when the emotions begin to close in, when the fears grip you at nite, when the loneliness seems too much to bear....hope steps in. it creates a small light at the end of your heart. it gives you that line to grab onto. it gives you the spirit to hang on until tomorrow. there is always tomorrow. but even the most optimistic person cannot keep creating hope by themself. they need someone else to be holding onto the other end of that line. they need someone else at the end of that tunnel saying...you can make it...keep trying. do not give up. they need someone that will care if they give up...or keep trying.
so whether you work in a shelter, a mission or social welfare agency...give someone the gift of hope. if you're just an ordinary person..... let them know you are aware of them. let them know you care. it's free. it doesn't hurt. and it just might save someone. don't let them slip quietly into that night. hold out your hand and see who grabs it.
see you around town
Happy New Years. I hope all of you have a safe and warm new years eve and new years day. yes...everybody in america is making resolutions and thinking about the new years. me too. i have one or two resolutions. here they are.
--i will end my homelessness in 2014
--i will never be homeless again
--i will never walk by a person i think is homeless without asking if they are ok
--if i have money on a cold day i will buy a homeless person a coffee
--i will never again be proud and arrogant...i will always be gracious and humble
--i will never again look at a homeless person without saying good morning and smiling
--i will never again take things for granted...not money...not a home...not food...not warmth...
not simple, practical things in life
--i will never again look at the world the same way. i will remember to see the poor and the homeless and if i'm able i will always advocate and help them however i can
--i will never again walk by a child without thinking about the hungry children in america
--i will never again ignore or neglect another human being. i will never again be satisfied to accept the fact that homeless people don't need our help
--i will never again underestimate the power of one person
--i will never again look at a social worker the same way without realizing how difficult a job they have
and the difficult choices they make daily.
--i will never wake up on a cold morning without wondering if everyone made it thru the nite
--i will always remember that i am a few steps away from being homeless and except by the grace of
god go i
--i will never again let you forget about the plight of the homeless and poor in america
--i will continute to talk about this until you hear...and listen.
happy new year
see you around town
It's almost new years. we can say goodbye to 2013. i'm not sure what that means since there's only one day difference between 2013 and 2014. other than being tired from staying up the nite before most of us will wake up to the same things we went to sleep on in 2013. oh...we'll make resolutions and some will make a list. we'll keep it in view...for awhile. then it will be put in a drawer, in our wallet, posted on a memo on google docs or something similar. but one thing i do hope stays at the top of your list and that is to follow your own heart and your beliefs and never stray from them. stay true to yourself and your family and your god. remember to say please, thank you, you're welcome and i love you. everything else will work out.
i went to no bucks cafe this morning again. i got my coffee and sat down. i haven't been very chatty the last couple of days. i think the weight of trying to deal with finding a job and keeping a temporary roof over my head at nite is taking it's toll on me. but this too will pass. i was looking around at the faces there this morning. there weren't many missing. but something i did notice were the new faces. lately more and more have been popping up. some old, some young, some in between. these are the ones i worry about. some of these were just out of jail. some were from out of town. some were new to the homeless situation. some were fresh out of housing first...they didn't make it. but they all had something in common. they weren't tired. they weren't on the brink of giving up. they weren't beaten by the cold and weather yet. they didn't have that look. these are the ones i worry about. there's still time for them. before they realize that this isn't a week long adventure, before they realize that finding a job isn't as easy as it used to be, before they realize that help isn't a call away, before they realize that 2015's new year's eve resolution could be to get out of this situation...before reality hits home. i started thinking about homelessness and the progress and lack of progress we as a country are making on this problem. it may very well be too late for my generation. but it's not too late for the next one. what we do today will have an impact and could very well prevent my grandchildren from having to deal with and debate and try to solve homelessness. what we do today may prevent any new faces from entering nobucks cafe. what we do today may prevent another child in the future from knowing what hunger and poverty is. what we do today may prevent another life from being wasted due to our inability to turn our attention to a problem in our own communities. i hope so.
when you're thinking of your goals in 2014, try to make ending hunger and homelessness one of them. however small or simple thing you can do to help could very well on a collective basis be the missing formula to ending them both. remember the homeless in 2014 and think of your children and grandchildren. hopefully by the time they are grown and make their own resolutions one day, ending homelessness won't be one of them. like pollution, war, political turmoil...homelessness should be a plague we become determined not to hand down to the next generation. it should be something we resolve ourselves to fighting, finding a solution for and ending. let that solution be a legacy we leave to our children.
see you around town
Some of the most extraoridnary events in history have been started and carried thru by very ordinary men. some of the greatest inventions have been thought up by very ordinary men. ideas. revolutions, religions, scientific theories, social upheavals and the making of nations. alot of times they didn't start out with the intention of changing history or a nation. they just had an idea or they had a vision of what they believed in and were able to effectively communicate that idea or vision. most of the time it made so much sense or it was so needed by society at the time that it became a perpetual movement accepted by most of the people. gandhi, martin luther king, ronald reagan, socrates, winston churchill, franklin roosevelt, jesus of nazareth, mohammed and more. they shaped a nation, a religion, or a way of life and sometimes the world.
i think all great men start out as ordinary though. all great men don't go thru life thinking they are going to do something great to change a nation or the world. they just start small with their beliefs and their ideals and keep true to those in their life. they don't waiver in what they believe in. they don't change with the shifting winds or popular opinions. they speak and act in the same manner and with the same conviction for most of their life. then, when the time is right, people accept those ideals and opinions and it grows...and grows...and grows. the ideals and beliefs are usually grounded in good and what benefits humanity. yes....some evil men have managed to do this also, but usually theirs doesn't last for an extended period of time. people at their core are good....some call it the universal moral code, some call it god examining your heart on a daily basis. either way, i think people are basicially good.
so..where am i going with this? this is not a sociology blog. it's not a world religion blog. it's not a socio-economic blog. so let me get to the point. homelessness will not be solved by the government. it will not be solved by massive amounts of money. it will not be solved with welfare or free housing. it will not be solved by religion. it could be solved by ordinary people....you...and me....and everyone. it's time for america to take pause and look in our own neighborhood. it's time for the ordinary person to examine themself and realize we have people living in this country below the monetary level of the poorest countries in the world. it's time ordinary people take a collective effort to solve this problem.
churches and local governments should work together....not independently, each with their own agenda to address the people they see daily. each one should address the problems of the people within walking distance of the building they work or live in. independently you won't accomplish much. collectively you can solve anything. each person and each organization should somehow bond together and have some concrete, solid goals. each person and organization should stop men and women from dying on the street every nite. each person and organization should stop and think how intrinsically wrong it is for a child to go to bed hungry every nite.
surely if john kennedy could have the vision to put a man on the moon, surely if ronald reagan could have the vision to end communism and make our country great again, surely if martin luther king could stir the nation to end segregation and discrimination, surely if your founding fathers could foresee what our country could and should be based on...surely...we as americans can see suffering in our own neighborhoods and in our own streets. surely. surely...as ordinary citizens we could once again say...enough...and end hunger and poverty and needless dying....once and for all...here.....in our own country. not by war, not by disease, not by terrorism....but by simple neglect. yes...we have neglected our own citizens. too long...and long enough.
the problem of homelessness involve some very ordinary people. the solution lies in some very ordinary people waiting to become extraordinary....collectively. the problem will be solved by ordinary acts of kindness and charity by some extraordinary people. would you be extraordinary. could you be?
see you around town.
Sometimes in life when we're faced with hard choices or we're in a tough situation we find ourself settling for less than we really want to. we take the easy way out or the quickest thing that satisfies what we're looking for. either we're impatient or we're unwilling to face the difficult task of working for what we really set out to gain or achieve. sooner or later that comes back to haunt us. we regret it. we wish we'd taken the extra time or the extra effort to obtain the best.
i think that's some of the problem with the homeless situation and all the people who are trying for or think they know of a solution to the problem of homelessness. actually, while i'm at it....it's not a problem i'm not a problem. all the men, women and children who are homeless aren't a problem. we're just homeless. if you think we're a problem then you have no positive opinion or input and we don't need you. thank you.
anyway...i think very often the same thing happens with people dealing with the homeless. it's a very exasperating and difficutl job. it comes with built in frustrations. it comes with no assembly instructions. it comes without batteries or a video how-to, so far there's been no successful program to deal with it. it keeps rearing it's ugly head. so...the social workers and organizations dealing with the homeless often settle for the first option they can find just to get the homeless off the street. it could be a mission, a temporary shelter, a drug rehab, a ticket to another city or maybe just a hotel room. they settle out of concern, frustration and lack of options.
it's time to stop settling. it's time to stop taking the easy way out. it's time for both the homeless and the social workers and organizations to stop putting a bandaid on the problem and end this scar on america. it's time for the hardliners to stop complaining about having to pay for the homeless bums and welfare queens. well...you want to stop paying for it? find a solution..a permanent solution. not temporary shelter. a permanent solution will end the debate and the premise that homeless people are a big burden on society. it's time for the politicians to put aside their bipartinship and serve the people you were elected to serve. yes.....we are part of the people. it's time for the local governments, churches and businesses to step up and stop trying to figure out what to do with the homeless and work together and find a permanent ongoing solution to the problem. it won't be easy...it won't be quick. but don't settle.
me...i'm not settling for anything. i want a job. i want a house. i want security. i want to know that this isn't going to happen again. i want a government..both local and federal...that operates efficiently enough to have an economy that won't let this happen again. i want to walk away from being homeless and take the experience with me...but nothing else. i don't want to take doubts and apprehensions that it could happen again.
in the meanitme i'm going to keep talking and writing and trying to help. i'm not going to settle.
you don't settle either...because that's just not good enough
Dear Mayor Williams;
This is an open letter to you concerning the homeless in wilmington delaware. i hope you get a chance to read it. i hope you consider what it's saying and why. but most of all i hope you understand it. not from a poiitical point, not from a legal point, but from a humanitarian and reasonable point of view.
let me start with saying that i do not speak for the homeless population of wilmington, but i do speak as one of them. i walk in their midst every day. i speak as one who has the same struggles as they do on a daily basis. i speak for myself, but i also speak for what i hear, what i see and what i believe to be true. i also speak as a citizen of wilmington.
your clean and safe business district initiative is a very good idea. it was overdue. rodney square and market street were on the brink of being out of control. you see mr. mayor, we as homeless people are citizens of wilmington also. we live here. we don't like to be accosted, robbed, mugged, and bothered by panhandling any more than the people who work in the downtown area. don't assume all homeless people were the cause of the problem but also don't assume that the homeless population were the cause of the entire problem either. most of the homeless population do not panhandle. most of the homeless people do not use drugs. some of the homeless people do not drink. some of us are just temporarily homeless and are attempting to work our way out of it. we have to coexist with the homeless and the working people of wilmington.
i think your intentions are well grounded and i think you are basically a good person. i fully understand you have a job to do and a vision of what wilmington should be. but in the process of achieving that vision and those goals don't forget we are citizens of this good city also. we are your constituents also. we also live here and will work here again soon. we have the same concerns as all other citizens, perhaps more.
while your initiative was effective it didn't solve the problems with the homeless population and it certainly didn't benefit them any. while doing their job, some of the officers were abit over zealous in enforcing and carrying out that initiative. random stops and searches of the homeless people were not only disconcerting but also insulting in the cases where the person was doing nothing wrong and certainly not illegal. they were just homeless. you cannot eradicate the homeless population. yes, they are not in the business district now, but we are still here. they have shifted to other areas of the city and to relatively close outlying areas of the city. so the problem still exists.
if you truly want to address the problem of the homeless in wilmington, please do not rely on the council of organizations that have had little if any success in dealing with the homeless. do not rely on organizations that like to have meetings with you and get their names in the paper and receive accolades. deal with the organizations that actually help and do something for the homeless. do not deal with the organizations that we as homeless people do not respect. deal with organizations like the friendship house and the sunday breakfast mission. deal with rvrc. these organizations deal with and directly assist the homeless people every day. we know them. we respect them, we appreciate them. you have some outstanding churches who care about the homeless and some very compassionate people who would be glad to speak with you concerning these issues. the churches should take a more active role in dealing with this issue. you could give them that chance.
also mr. mayor, please remember that collectively we are a problem that needs to be addressed. individually we are people. we have aspirations and desires and concerns, just as all your citizens and constituents do. remember mr. mayor that a true leader is known for how he deals with the least of his constituents. we might very well be those constituents at the present.
do not waste money and the peoples taxes on free housing just to solve the issue of homelessness. it doesn't work in most cases. sure, we have a roof over our head for a period of time. but solving the problem of homelessness is so much more than that. it is job training, addiction treatment and reentering society as a contributing taxpayer and good citizen. again, be careful who you seek for counseling. choose your advisers on these issues wisely.
in closing mr. mayor, i would ask you not to forget us. do not push us aside or away. give us an opportunity and a chance to conquer our situation and we will do it. yes, we do need assistance. yes, we do need your help and the support of the city of wilmington. we need that help so one day in the not so distant future we can be the ones that help, we can be the ones you seek counsel with and we can be the ones whose votes you seek.
This game is real. There are children who go to bed hungry every night.
they wake up hungry.
they go to school hungry.
they don't understand....neither do i.
this is a game we need to win for them
want to play?
Do whatever it takes to win. the means do justify the end.
see you around town
If you came here looking for politics....close this window now. but hillary did ask a very important question. i would like to ask you the same question. What difference does it make?
Tell me....what difference DOES it make?
The phillipines. syria. afghanistan. iraq. sudan. libya. japan. south korea. egypt. kenya. somalia. liberia. haiti. jordan. these are countries we given significant amounts of foreign aid to. this is not a complete list.
every day you hear on the cable networks of a death of a woman or child in another country due to violence or war. sometimes it lasts for three or four days. you read about it on twitter...the anger and moral outrage.
tonight there is still a civil war in syria raging. it's already cost thousands of lives. the human cost is almost beyond comprehension. for the most part it's people from the same country slaughtering each other. thing is...their ideals aren't that much different. it's about power and control and which religious sect is going to rule whatever is left of the country. it's in the headlines...every day.
the martin/zimmerman case in florida marathoned along for weeks. it was truly tragic for all involved.
egypt is in the process of edging closer to a religious civil war. thousands have been killed. we read about it every day. it's discussed on twitter, on google, on yahoo and on cable news networks.
justin bieber says he's retiring and it grabs first news headlines on most networks this morning.
ukraine unrest and subsequent riots and protests garner national attention. so much so that john mccain got personally involved...as he likes to do.
a young woman froze to death. she was homeless. there is no overnight shelter for women on a regular basis. she was in her thirties. there was no news clip. there was no obituary. noone knew where her family was or how to contact them. noone discussed it on cable. noone tweeted it. noone noticed.
there are 1.5 million homeless children. it doesn't make much news unless the debate about entitlements and welfare cuts are going on. children....young children.
a man was hit by a car along a busy highway. it was a hit and run. he died. it garnered a six sentence article in the online news report. it was discovered he was homeless. that was the end of it.
america....where art thou? hundreds of thousands of your citizens are in need. millions of your children are without a home. women are sleeping on the streets in freezing weather. men are dying.
noone is talking.
nsa is a disgrace and a direct violation of our constitutional rights. it's made headlines for months. total outrage.
our citizens are dying....not in a war....not by terrorism....not in another country.....here...at home...because they are homeless.
take notice. be angry. make it an outrage. because it is
see you around town