♥ A Poem by iviedoeloves ♥|
February 01, 2005 at 11:59 pm
story Poem, G (All)
Non Fiction | General/Other | General/Other
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I have known a lot of homeless people in my life. Being that Iíve been homeless before a couple of times in my own life. Iím talking about the homeless here in America. Iíve been across this USA, up, across, down, over and back again. Mostly we walked, but we hitch hiked as well. Iíve met all kinds of folks. Some want nothing to do with you, and some will stop on the side of the road as youíre walking and hand you a $20. This was not a matter of choice to go across the country like this; it was a matter of do or die. I had to get away from some elements in my hometown that was making me crazy. Oh yeah, I forgot, that was the second time I had to leave Riverside. The first was when I was 17 and had to leave home because my parents were always going through some things all the time and blaming it on meÖIt seems I was the source of all there problems.
Donít get me wrong I was such a good kid, I never got in trouble with the law (and still havenít at 40!). I got super good grades in all my college prep classes in high school, and even graduated at 10th grade, just before I turned 16. That was the first time I became homeless. I didnít get a job real fast because I didnít have a place to stay that wasnít a hardship on the people I stayed with. Homeless people have a real hard time asking for things. I know some of you think thatís funny because youíve been hit up by pan-handlers, but that my friends is not an easy thing to do either. Most of us would be up at the crack of dawn to collect cans or walk the main drag after a Friday or Saturday night looking for loose change or anything else someone may have dropped that might be worth money at the pawn shop. A lot of us would dumpster-dive looking for cans and bottles true, but mostly its clothes and other things that people throw away. You wouldnít believe the things that people who are moving throw away. If you see a homeless person with jewelry or nice clothes, itís probably because they found it in a dumpster! Itís common practice to trade our stuff back and forth with others who are on the street that may have a clean pair of pants or a shirt for a cool piece of jewelryÖnow shoes are harder to come by, sometimes a thrift store will give you a pair or a really fine place is to go to a local church, they usually treat you good there. With a hot meal and the word of God to boot! Some towns and provinces have homeless shelters, especially if youíve got children. I had to once again become homeless when my boy was six. I got hurt so bad at work that I havenít been able to work since, (but thatís another story). I kept applying for social security but I kept being denied. I lost my apartment and went to live with my boyfriend, (who is now my husband of 9 years) in a small bedroom that was way too small for the three of us. I called my sonís school to get some help with clothes for him (they grow so fast at that age!) and they offered to call whatís known here in California as C.P.S. (Child protective services). They got me and my son into a super fine shelter that helped me get my social security and there was an after school program for the kids as well as they paid for him to go to a little summer day camp that summer.
I wasnít out on the streets again until my time ran out for being there. Thereís usually a specific length of time you can stay. We stayed a while at my boyfriendís parents for a while and then got a live-in job taking care of a very belligerent old man who one day decided that he didnít like having a third grader around and made us leave. Back to my hometown of Riverside we went. I had to do anything possible to keep my kid off the streets and I did. We went to stay with my mom and dad for two months until Pat got on his feet with a new job. My grandparents, God bless them, helped us get an apartment. We lived there for four years until we out grew it and got a mobile home. It seemed like finally my days of being constantly on the verge of homelessness were over until I got very sick from something in the mobile home. We lived there for a year until my kidneys started to fail and had to move out into a week to week motel. Homeless again, but my sickness went away! We stayed there until Pat got an offer to move here to San Diego to work as a landscaping foreman which was an awful job that barely paid enough for us to live in the motel we were staying in until we could find an apartment here. My mental health has always been a troublesome thing and I was going down hill fast. We finally just started looking for an apartment that would work with us in some sort of payments to move inÖpractically impossible in a tourist town like San Diego, until we met a woman who hooked us up with a local church that helped us finance the apartment and helped with some furniture too. So now here we are. Actually I have great hopes because we live in a district that has a charter school that my boy can go to and heís on the wrestling team, is managing editor of the school newspaper and takes all college prep courses. Heís holding a 4.4 grade average and that makes me know that I cannot loose this apartment for nothing, come heck or high water. Itís hard though because S.S.I. only pays so much and my husband had to take a year off work to take care of me until Iím A little more emotionally stable. Things are going to get better though because the meds Iím on are working pretty well, so heíll be able to go back to work at least by June. Perhaps sooner, the state only pays him $280 to stay home and care for me, but since Iím not blind (thank you God!) or elderly I donít qualify for some other in home help. So you see being homeless is just a few dollars short of not enough or some sickness that makes you fall through the cracks. It can happen to anyone at anytime. I have a few homeless friends now that know they can get an occasional shower or a hot meal here, even a couch to sleep on during heavy rain. Not many though, just a few, I have a son with a tight schedule and thereís no room for Tom foolery in my precious home. But I have a heart for the homeless, especially the women. Please donít look at them with disdain in your heart. Most didnít ask to be without a place to call their own and itís so hard to get a leg up without a place to sleep, shower or shave and look respectable. A lot of them donít have todayís skills to be employed in any kind of job that would support an apartment or even a room. Those on social security could go to group homes but thereís a real shortage of them around here, so they are forced to sleep in some out of the way shanty behind a dumpster or something, getting their stuff stolen all the time. It can make a person crazy or at least look crazy! Please treat these people like real citizens and do something cool for a homeless person once in a while. Lay down a five dollar bill and donít question where the money goes. For Jesus said ďWhatever you do for the least of these, you have done for me.Ē God will bless you if you bless them and anyone else in need.
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