Homeless life is not pretty

Discussion in 'Media' started by hvactec, Oct 18, 2011.

  1. hvactec
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    hvactec VIP Member

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    Carey Fuller
    I want to thank everyone who follows me around on Twitter and Facebook because to me, it shows that others actually take an interest in what I do as a homeless person and as a homeless parent. Perhaps you learned something by seeing that I’m really not all that different than everybody else. Sure, I may get involved when others don’t, won’t or can’t. I might tell the truth even if it’s inconvenient for others to hear.

    In turn I’ve learned a lot about people just from observation. For instance, when I first wrote a letter to change.org about what it’s like to be a homeless mother, it generated more hits than I thought was possible. To me, it seemed incredible that so many people were either astounded that homeless families were everywhere or didn’t want to believe what my experiences have been. So for those of you still “baffled” by us homeless parents, here’s a list for you to consider:

    How do you keep a roof over your head if child costs more than your rent?
    Just because there’s a child support order in place, there’s no guarantee you’ll receive it and if dad can only find minimum wage jobs, just how much child support do you think will be received?
    Don’t assume there’s family help especially if relatives are barely making it themselves or choose not to get involved because it’s not “their problem”.
    Don’t tell people to “get on welfare” if you don’t know what the current welfare system is or the fact that programs are being cut…permanently. In case you didn’t know, there’s a “process” to see if
    you qualify and then you may be put on a waiting list. Section 8 for housing may not even be open to apply for in your state.
    Don’t assume someone can just show up at a shelter and get help. In case you haven’t been watching the news, many shelters are closing due to lack of financial support. If you have shelters still open, it’s possible there will be a waiting list after being seen by an intake specialist because not all shelters will take you. Not only that, the shelter in question may not be a safe place to be and you may get turned away due to not enough room.
    Don’t assume that just because your community has ample services available, things will be the same in other cities or states. Also, it may not be feasible for a homeless person to just pick up and move where you are.
    Get ready to have a family be split apart if local shelters take either men only, women only or women with kids up to a certain age only.
    There’s a time limit on how long folks can stay in a shelter so don’t assume that just because they’re in one, “they’ll be ok now”.
    Don’t assume that families are homeless because of drugs, alcohol, mental illness or being irresponsible with finances.
    Little things you take for granted that act as a “suspension system” for you simply don’t exist out here, like being able to shower every day or get to an indoor bathroom. Having a state id., driver’s license, mailing address, place to do laundry or a cell phone are things that can prevent a homeless person from being able to get work or have access to services.
    This is for educators: Homeless kids have to do their homework either at a public library (if there’s one nearby and they can get to it), a restaurant or in a car. If they’re too busy trying to survive, don’t assume they’re falling behind in school due to not trying hard enough. Also, it’s easier to get sick out here and it takes longer to recover without your own home so absences due to illness are common. When it comes to school functions, many times homeless families will opt out if they can’t afford nice clothes or uniforms for their kids, can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to deal with that even though schools were told we were homeless. My teen couldn’t join most sports because she couldn’t afford the costs involved with being on a team.
    For families living out of their cars, a minimum wage job will barely keep a vehicle maintained, insured and the tank full of gas. Gas is always a priority because there aren’t too many safe places to park for the night so sleep is a luxury that comes in naps or not at all.
    As far as food banks and public feeds are concerned, if you can get to them, they will help stretch a food budget especially if you’re a homeless youth who only gets $200 a month in foodstamps. By the way foodstamps won’t buy any hot foods from a grocery store deli so if you don’t have a kitchen or way to cook food, you’ll be eating cold items. The other thing is that even though you can buy groceries, if you don’t have a refrigerator to store anything so buying perishables is on a day to day basis. Also, if you’re in a heavy need area, public feeds can only bring so much food before having to turn folks away, the same is happening to local food banks. If you didn’t already know this, most food banks allow homeless folks to visit once a week and if you’re housed, once a month.
    Don’t assume homeless kids are necessarily anti-social because they don’t show up to birthday invitations or dances. They might be ashamed of their clothes or the fact that they can’t buy a gift. Homeless kids are acutely aware of the fact they can’t have sleepovers with their friends and some parents have a problem letting their kids visit their homeless friends at a shelter.

    read more Homeless life is not pretty | Carey Fuller
     
  2. Kooshdakhaa
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    Kooshdakhaa Gold Member

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    The homeless people I'm familiar with are either panhandling for money to buy booze, or sitting around drinking booze. They litter and trash any area they settle in. They shit on the fence at one of my favorite parks, and left the napkins they used to wipe their asses laying on the ground. One time in my neighborhood, a homeless man had fallen asleep in plain view with his penis hanging out of his pants. Nice sight for all the little girls in the neighborhood to see.

    I recently thought I was going to lose my job. My mind was going a million miles an hour...shall I go to Job Service first? Check the job listings on Craig's List? A private employment agency? All of the above! I'd better get my resume ready. Where shall I apply? Shall I take a week off before I start the serious job-hunting...no, probably not. What are my options? Is this the time to start my own business? Learn a new trade? Are there any programs that can help me find a job?

    My instant and aggressive focus would be on job-hunting should I lose my job. I would take whatever I could get, I wouldn't expect to get as much money as I am currently making.

    I can't imagine having children and making them live in a car. Sounds kind of like neglect, to me. I'd be a lot more sympathetic towards homeless people if they were aggressively trying to claw their way back into productive society. But then, I don't ever see any homeless families. Just a bunch of drunks passing a bottle around and shitting on fences.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2011
  3. Katzndogz
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    Katzndogz Diamond Member

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    When I was really small we were homeless. We were homeless when it was really BAD to be homeless because there was no public benefits to whine to. We slept in the park, in the subway station in bad weather or the bus station. Today they are called "freegans" those who raid dumpsters for free food. We did it out of necessity, my parents and myself. My Dad went to the back doors of restaurants to ask for the leavings off customers plates. There was no asking the state for a residential voucher and no shelters. No food pantries. Nothing.

    Why were were in such straits? Because my parents thought it demeaning to work. They were free spirits and no one could tell them what to do. That lasted until I got really sick. The authorities took me away and told my parents that unless my Dad got a job and they got a place to live, they just wouldn't see me again. With anger and resentment, they got their act together. There was no work, but Dad found a job. Adequate housing was non existent, we lived in a furnished room.

    Homelessness and poverty was so painful that my determination was that it would never, ever happen to me as long as I took care of myself. I got an education, took training, got skills worked my way through college. In my entire life I never filed for a day's worth of unemployment. When I was unemployed I looked for a job exactly the same way as I worked. Diligently, every day, looking for a job was my job. Usually my efforts were successful in a few days. I never missed a paycheck. Not even during the 70s when unemployment was high. I would do anything. In my downtime, I kept my skills intact. I went to temporary agency after temporary agency. Sometimes I went into a business and worked for free. Give me two days, if you don't like what I do, no hard feelings. I always got the job.

    This woman's complaint is that her homelessness is someone else's responsibility. There should be more help, more shelters, more food. Someone should make it more comfortable for her to live in poverty. She deserves to be out on the street with starving children. Unless someone wrote this for her, I see someone who has some education. At least, if this woman prepared this document herself she communicates well.

    So I have to ask. How come someone could come here, with no education at all, can't speak the language, no money, likely here illegally and find work in a day or two? How come? How come they can and this woman is screaming Where are my services? There should be NO services at all. If there were NO services, maybe this lazy twit would be looking for a job instead of looking for services. I guarantee you that if she spent as much time interviewing employers and she spends interviewing intake specialists, she'd have a job by now. Now I can't say for sure that she has a computer, maybe she uses the library. She has enough time to keep up with facebook and twitter. No time to look for work though. Why should she? She's got kids that she can use to drum up some sympathy. Give up the kids. Put them in foster care where they have a bed to sleep in and food on the table. Get your act together and find a job, then get your kids back.

    After having been homeless back when it really meant bad shit, I have absolutely no respect for people like this. None. Homelessness might be a temporary condition, Carey wants to make it permanent. Do for me, give me, see to my comfort, shelter, clothing, whatever I need, whatever I want. She's disgusting and her complaints are insulting to people who have really suffered. She's like my parents. Just like my parents. If we had the same kind of safety net that the poor have today, if poverty hadn't been so awful, I'd be second generation welfare.

    People like Carey Fuller don't deserve the straits they are in. They deserve WORSE. They deserve for it to get so bad, that they will move rumps to do something about it besides whine that no one will do enough for them.
     
  4. Enlightened
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    Enlightened Rookie

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    I'd like to hear her story of how she got to where she is and why she thinks she is stuck in the position she is in.

    My issue with it is that there are children involved. I cannot believe with how public she is, that there hasn't been a legal intervention of some kind. I'm not saying I think her children should be taken from her, case closed, but something should have been done to get those kids off the street a long time ago. If I were in a position with children as a single parent, I would apply to every gas station and fast food chain there was. I would take as many jobs as I could get and at the very least put my kids up in one of those weekly rate hotels. Anything but the street or car. And I have met a mother who did just that. She worked as a waitress at Denny's during the day and worked at a burger joint at night. It BARELY paid for the hotel, but it paid for it. They got by. This woman sounds angry and like she's rebelling against "the man" which as a 50% Native, I can somewhat understand, but at what expense to your children. And it is hard to sympathize with homeless when the majority, and it is the majority of them are simply alcoholics and/or drug addicts. They can ALWAYS afford alcohol or their drug of choice but they can't afford things that matter. I think every recipient of any and all aides and services should have mandatory drug testing often and randomly. You'd be surprised at how short the line at the food stamp place will be if they did drug test.

    Regardless of how she became homeless and why she has stayed that way all these years, I do think it is selfish to have kept her children in those conditions with her. The economy NOW is bad yes, but it wasn't when she first became homeless was it? And I know for a fact that McDonalds, Wal-Mart and Taco Bell would hire her.
     
  5. whitehall
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    whitehall Gold Member

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    Let me get this straight, you got custody of a kid after a divorce? What was your wife like if you can't even keep a job long enough to keep a roof over your kid? Frankly I smell a rat and a fraudulent claim.
     
  6. Old Rocks
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    Local News | The fastest-growing group among local homeless: families | Seattle Times Newspaper

    Yet even as their numbers grow, the system in place to help homeless families — a sprawling network of programs and agencies offering everything from child care to subsidized housing — is bottlenecked at every turn.

    Many newly homeless families try for weeks — sometimes months — to get into emergency shelters but can't. It's gridlocked: Those beds are being used by families who want to move into so-called transitional housing, but can't because those units are being used by families who want to move into permanent housing, but can't because many of them can't afford to.

    Often, struggling families must already be homeless before they can get help. And once in the door, their progress through the system can be further slowed as agencies link them up with money-management or parenting classes meant to get them "house ready" — stable enough to stand on their own when they do get into places of their own.
     
  7. phatgirl18
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    phatgirl18 Rookie

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    Homeless life is not pretty. It never was and it will never be. :clap2: Your article interests me alot. Thanks!
     

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