Monday, September 12, 2005

Day 12 of 100 blogs in 100 days

Day twelve of 100 blogs in my travels to visit 100 blogs in 100 days. (and I didn't go far...)

There is more to homeless people than being homeless. The Homeless Guy Kevin Barbieux writes "I had 15 minutes of fame two years ago when I started a blog about my homeless experiences. I became un-homeless on the 4th of April, 2005. I now live in subsidized housing with income generated by my blogs."

Want to walk with Kevin and see what he sees?

Kevin writes about panhandlers:
"Then there is the issue of food. Should you give a panhandler food. That depends on your approach. All panhandlers have to eat. And, they will use some of the money you give them to eat with - TacoBell is a favorite. But, when you give them food, then they can save that much more of their panhandling money for drugs and alcohol. Still, if you use the excuse of feeding a panhandler to develop a relationship with him, then you should. Don't just give him money and then walk away. Take the man into Taco Bell with you, and eat with him. Engage him in conversation. Become his friend. Find out what his real needs are - perhaps he needs a better pair of shoes, or perhaps he needs eye-glasses, or perhaps the chance to call home. This is how you provide for the real needs of the homeless. Know that homeless people have lost most of their love of self and others, and that by others showing genuine concern for them, they will begin, again, to care about themselves - a first step in the journey out of homelessness."

and privacy: "When you are homeless you have almost no privacy. As you have no place to call your own, you spend almost all your time in public places - libraries, sidewalks, parks, etc."

and rest: "Rest is something you don't get very much of when you are homeless. And a lot of that is due to the fact you can't get any privacy. When you live at a shelter, they are always waking you up early - 5 to 5:30 EVERY morning - 7 days a week. "

and food: "Although homeless people can get enough food to eat, the food usually isn't that good, or healthy for them. Most of the really cheap food is unhealthy, like Bologna. Homeless people get a lot of Bologna sandwiches and other fatty food. "

Kevin has a good heart and throughout his blog, there is no fingerpointing or judgement. He takes the time to gently help us understand that being homeless is not something one desires... "being homeless takes work - a lot of work. Being homeless is much more difficult, physically and emotionally, than conforming to the demands of society. So, to be homeless is not a state of avoiding work."

Resource: Why Are People Homeless? Homelessness and poverty are inextricably linked. Poor people are frequently unable to pay for housing, food, child care, health care, and education. Difficult choices must be made when limited resources cover only some of these necessities. Often it is housing, which absorbs a high proportion of income, that must be dropped. Being poor means being an illness, an accident, or a paycheck away from living on the streets.

more from:
National Coalition for the Homeless

No comments: